posted 3 years ago

Hundreds Have Car Parts Stolen By Gang Dubbed 'The Corsa Cannibals'

Gangsters are moving across the country stripping Vauxhall Corsas for parts; atleast 500 stripped so far.

Hundreds of Vauxhall Corsas have been targeted by criminals that stripped key components to sell for a fast profit, the Mirror reports.

There have been 25 incidents since August 2015 in the Teesside region alone. These were in addition to over 500 in Bedfordshire over a 2 year period.

The crooks typically targeted this supermini-class car at night to minimise the risk of being disturbed. Vehicles were parked both on the public highway and forecourts, and in some cases were damaged almost beyond recognition.

Sport trims – that tend to incorporate more elaborate panels – seemed to be more frequent targets than standard vehicles. 


'Moved off drive'

A Corsa 1.6-litre VXR fell victim in September 2015, in Marton. The 22-year-old owner of this powerful high-spec model – who chose to remain anonymous – explains to The Gazette newspaper: “It was moved off my drive”.

He adds: “They smashed the passenger seat window to get the hand brake off then pushed it down the street to the field. When I came out in the morning to go to work the car was gone.”

Initially, he was not too concerned and chuckled thinking that “someone was having a laugh” - but he soon “started to panic.” 

As the owner phoned the police to report his car stolen a dog walker overheard and said it was dumped nearby on grassland. “I walked over and there it was in bits” (and) “I was absolutely gutted,” the owner says.

“They clearly knew what they were doing and must have had all the proper tools”. The vehicle was a write-off as the repair cost was close to the initial sale price of £23,000.

The victim continues: “I’ve had to go and buy a new car, I’ve lost all my no-claims bonus and my insurance will go up again.”


Why Corsas?

Vauxhall says that there are “no security or design issues” that makes its vehicles a popular target for criminals.

However, the Corsa is among the best-selling cars in the United Kingdom as it is practical, affordable and easy to live with.

These strengths ensure that – in addition to other demographics - it is popular with young drivers that are more likely to crash than their older counterparts.

This combination ensures that there is consistent demand for spare parts. It is noteworthy that frequently stolen elements include those likely to be damaged during a collision such as bonnets, bumpers, and lights.