An auto parts theft ring has been discovered operating at General Motors’ Australian bran, Holden. Holden workers parts theft has resulted in more than $2.5 million in engines and transmissions being stolen from the Holden assembly plant in Elizabeth, Australia.
Johnny Cash would likely be livid at Holden workers parts theft
As AutoBlog diligently points out, the recent instance of parts thefts from the Holden Motors assembly plant in Australia is somewhat reminiscent of “One Piece at a Time,” a Johnny Cash song. The song is about a man who works on the assembly line at Cadillac and, due to the fact that he can’t afford one because of his low earnings, decides to steal all the pieces, bit by bit, until he has and builds a complete car.
However, if Johnny Cash were still with us, he likely wouldn’t approve much of a recent theft ring that was discovered stealing engines and transmissions by Holden workers. More than AUS$2.5 million (about $2.57 million US) worth of parts were made off. Police discovered stolen parts in Riverland and Adelaide, according to Adelaide Now, tipping them off. At least 180 V-8 engines, normally installed in the Holden Commodore, were stolen from the factory.
Racing powered by stolen motors
Many of the motors were imported from GM manufacturers in Canada. The V-8 in the Commodore is a 6.0-liter V-8. Currently, it is also found in the Caprice PPV, the bespoke police cruiser GM sells in the United States, according to Car and Driver.
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Police in Australia found many of the motors were sold to off-road racers, according to the Courier Mail, a Brisbane newspaper. The motors were going for AUS$1,500 to $2,000 per; normally, the engines retail for AUS$10,000.
Plague of auto industry
Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new. Auto workers, like anyone in any industry, are susceptible to greed and temptation. A few wind up engaging in parts theft. The Holden plant is reported to have had experienced a similar scenario in the 1980s, according to Adelaide Now.
In 2010, according to Motor Trend, an auto parts theft ring was discovered at a BMW plant in Munich. Parts were logged as unusable in the factory floor, then smuggled out by security personnel and sold on the black market. The thefts were going on for years and the 18 accused members of the parts ring were alleged to have made off with $4.7 million in parts.
In Nov. 2011, according to Inside Hamtramck, two men were arrested and charged for stealing engines and transmissions from General Motors’ plant in Hamtramck, Mich. One was then employed as the chief of security for the plant. They were found to have allegedly stolen upward of $43,000 in motors and transmissions from the plant.
In April of this year, according to ABC affiliate WAPT, police in Jackson, Miss., were tipped off to stolen parts from Nissan’s plant in Canton, Miss., being located at an auto repair shop. Roughly $500,000 in parts were recovered.
Car and Driver: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/2012-chevrolet-caprice-ppv-police-car-review-review
Inside Hamtramck: http://www.insidehamtramck.com/2011/11/02/2-charged-in-gm-hamtramck-plant-car-parts-theft/