Vauxhall Corsas have been hit by a spate of thefts in the North-east of England where motorists have had the front end of their car stolen.
Five thefts occurred over just one weekend in December, with further incidents happening over Easter – the latest taking place in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham.
The thieves have been named “Corsa cannibals” after they strip the popular hatchback of its bonnet, grille and lights, leaving an open engine.
Thieves reportedly smash the passenger window, release the bonnet catch and then unscrew the front end of the car. A mechanic has said that it could take as little as 10 minutes for thieves to remove these components.
An unnamed 45-year-old owner said: “I could not believe my eyes when I saw it. My neighbour saw it first and she rang me to tell me the front of my car was missing. It was brazen.”
A Vauxhall spokesman said there were no “security or design issues” with the Corsa.
They said: “There are no security or design issues with our best-selling Corsa hatchback. This is wanton vandalism.
“The Corsa has been a huge sales success since it was launched over 25 years ago, so there are proportionally more on the roads than less popular models. If a thief is determined enough they can steal parts from any make of car.”