TESTIMONIALS. Theft of auto parts: “Goodbye muffler, headlight, tailgate”, the bill is high for the indignant victims
Victims of auto parts theft, a booming phenomenon, tell of their misadventures in La Dépêche.
According to the Ministry of the Interior, in 2022 thefts of accessories from vehicles increased by more than 30% in one year. An explosion directly suffered by some readers of La Dépêche. They have seen their car or motorbike lightened by one or more spare parts, causing disbelief and anger, often for a very high price.
CASE. Theft of auto parts is on the rise: because the phenomenon has been on the increase for two years
Sylvie, close to Muret (31): “I thought I had an airport in my car”
For victims, theft of catalytic converters from their vehicles remains a very shocking occurrence. And an additional cost to be incurred in the budget. “First there is the surprise effect because you don’t expect to find yourself without an exhaust pipe and then the damage caused and the noise you hear”, recalls this working mother at her home. “On January 13, I got into my car, a Toyota Prius, to move it. When I started the engine I heard a huge noise! It was like I had an airport in the cabin. I called a friend and the gendarmes came. They found out that I no longer had the exhaust!” Within minutes, the thugs had sawed through the equipment. “A pot like this is worth between €400 and €900, I had to pay a deductible of €450… It took some time to carry out the repair because the garage was out of stock on this type of model”. On the same night of the events, the gendarmes had noticed other thefts of catalytic converters in this sector.
Didier, in Montastruc-La-Conseillère: “I have 1,000 euros in repairs on a stolen pot”
Didier experienced the same mishap north of Toulouse in his Citroën Jumpy. “Impossible to replace the catalytic converter which was stolen from me. The part is no longer produced. Forced to have it made to measure. Cost of the intervention: €1,000 and my vehicle is stopped for 3 months.
Sylvestre: “My son’s Clio boned during the night”
In mid-January 2023, Sylvestre’s son’s Clio 3, a very popular model around ten years old, was parked in a car park in the Borderouge district of Toulouse. “When my son wanted to use it, says Sylvestre, he realized that something was wrong. Wandering around his vehicle, he realized that a large part of the parts had been stolen from him: two optics, the front bumper, the grille and several supports! The thieves acted at night, without breaking anything, a real surgical operation”. They would be ushered through the trunk of the car to access the hatch that lifts the hood before looting the optics. According to initial estimates, the amount of damage is estimated at 1,500 euros by replacing the stolen accessories with reconditioned parts. “I took advantage of extended insurance which allowed me to limit costs. In the end we got away with a deductible of 200 euros”. A lesser evil. But the car is still immobilized awaiting repairs. And Sylvestre’s son travels by bicycle today.
Theft of auto parts explodes: “People come to landfills to find the right spare part” says a wrecker
Hill, in Toulouse: “My old Citroën has been stripped bare”
“On April 7, 2022, I left the restaurant in the Jolimont district and it was a disappointment: no more headlights, no more front bumper, no more battery… my old Saxo was stripped of paint. The insurance adjuster deemed the repairs too much important, you had to get rid of it and struggle between the complaint and the reimbursement of the insurance, a lot of time and energy wasted in addition to the damage caused”.