A new crime wave that sees Audi RS4 seats stolen to order has been highlighted by the Telegraph.
A spate of thefts has seen the high-performance Audis targeted for their rare front seats, leaving windows smashed and further damage to the premium cabin.
To make matters worse, insurance companies are refusing to cough up the fee to replace the seats because, according to the Telegraph, it costs around £19,000 to order the parts and have them professionally fitted.
Adam McKenzie is just one of the victims of this strange and highly frustrating crime. He has spoken of how he stepped out of his home in south London to find his beloved RS4 with its front windows smashed and seats removed.
"I was just gobsmacked. In a way I was impressed with how it had been done," he told the Telegraph.
His 2007 RS4 performance saloon is worth around £26,000 but with the insurers quoting £19,000 to replace the seats, Adam faces the prospect of his low-mileage pride and joy being written off.
Several other victims have come forward to attempt to make other RS4 owners aware of the dangers.
Chris Smith lost the seats from his RS4 outside his house in Fulham, telling the Telegraph: “I have only met two other people who have the same RS4 and all had seats stolen. That's three out of three."
Others have had their cars written off because the rarity of the seats and work involved in reinstalling them is so costly. Daniel Parsons, a mechanic at Five Oaks Audi said that it takes in excess of 20 hours to re-fit the seats at a charge of £132 an hour.
The seats themselves are expensive as Audi has stopped making them, meaning they have to be imported in parts and assembled by a trained technician.
Elliott Roberts, editor of Performance VW magazine, suggested that the seats might have been stolen to service the demand from keen car modifiers who take parts from premium products and install them into more common cars.
"There's a type of styling trend called OEM-plus where you use original equipment parts but from a superior car like a Bentley, Porsche or Audi," he told the Telegraph.
"You see Audi TT dashboards in Golfs and all sorts of stuff."
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Picture from Audi