Mechanic swapped car parts

Alexander Keating, 23, of Widnes, stole a gearshift knob, steering wheel, brake callipers and other parts from a brand-new Audi A3 that he had hired and swapped them with the same component parts from his ageing S3. He has been fined £2,000 and sentenced to complete 200 hours of community service for the crime.

A garage worker who noticed the parts from the new car had been replaced by older ones spotted Mr Keating’s theft. The garage then reported the theft to local Police and Accident Exchange’s bespoke anti-fraud team, the Asset Protection Unit (APU).

An investigation found that he used the workshop of his former employer – a garage in Wilmslow – to remove and replace the parts between the two vehicles. He has since been fired after his crime was exposed.

He pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court last month and was subsequently sentenced to 200 hours unpaid community service, fined £2,004, and ordered to pay £535 costs and £60 victim surcharge.

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