Motorists are being cautioned of a new crime trend in which specific cars are targeted by professed ‘Corsa Cannibals’. Thieves are alleged to be stripping bonnets from Vauxhall Corsas across the region – with the West Midlands now gripped by the national crimewave.
In some cases, they reportedly smash the passenger side window to gain access to the bonnet before tearing it off and making off with it.
It can take less than ten minutes to do and has triggered serious anxiety to owners through the region.
Police say in the last week seven Corsas have been targeted in Solihull alone.
The woman, who asked not to be named, said: “There is a new crime hitting the Midlands. It happened to me and it’s happening all the time and becoming more common.
“Thieves strip the whole front on Corsas and Fiestas in particular by breaking the passenger window to pop the bonnet. It can take less than ten minutes to do.”
She added that she has since been slapped with a £400 excess bill to pay to fix her pride and joy.
“The stress and inconvenience it’s caused is unreal and I’m left footing the excess £400 bill and been without a car for three days,” she explained.
“It’s known online as Corsa cannibals. I think the more people that are aware, we can stop these vile people.”
A statement from West Midlands Police read: “Officers are investigating a theft after a car bonnet and number plates were stolen from a Vauxhall Corsa that was parked in Shard End on Wednesday night (1 August).
“The theft took place sometime between 12.05am and 8.30am.
“Anyone with information can contact West Midlands Police on 101 giving crime reference number 20BE/174295Q/18.”
Solihull Police today (Friday, August 3) told how seven Vauxhall Corsas had their bonnets stripped by thieves in Solihull within a single week.
The craze is believed to have started in 2013 in Bedfordshire when parts were removed from over 500 Corsas.
A full statement from the vehicle brand read: “There are no security or design issues with our best-selling Vauxhall Corsa.
“The Corsa has been a huge sales success since it was launched over 25 years ago, so there are proportionally more on the road than other less popular models.
“This is wanton vandalism, if a thief is determined enough they can steal parts from any make of car.”
Guidance from Inspector Mel Sutherland urged Corsa drivers to change the way they park their vehicle to deter criminals.
She urged drivers to park the front end of their car in a way that would prove inaccessible to thieves.
She said: “I would always advise people to check and check again that their vehicle is locked and secure, however given that this type of crime is very specific and unusual I would also encourage people to be extra vigilant and to consider where they are parking their cars.
“If you have a garage then try and use it or park your car as close to the garage door as possible to prevent thieves getting to the front end of the vehicle to remove it.
“You might want to consider upgrading the security on your drive or parking space, investing in a security light or CCTV system needn’t cost the Earth and will be cheaper than replacing the whole front end of your car or seeing an increase in insurance premiums.”