UK Cops Crush Custom BMW M3 Wagon Allegedly Built With Stolen Car Parts
As the authorities boast of their catch, others are fired up that they destroyed it in the first place.
Police in Great Britain have seized and crushed a custom BMW M3 wagon after finding it was built with parts from stolen cars. The call to have it destroyed has sparked outrage amongst the car community as well as the general public, especially since police found no indication that the vehicle's owner was involved in any crimes. Local law enforcement says it operated within its power, though some claim a judge has ordered that the owner be paid back for their loss. Regardless, there's now one fewer Bimmer rolling the streets and somebody's out of a car.
As outlined in a video published by the West Midlands Police and reported on by Carscoops, authorities pulled over a green M3 wagon last November in Birmingham. Running its plates revealed they belonged to a 2.0-liter diesel 3 Series, not an M3, which BMW has never sold in wagon form prior to the current G80 generation (and still not in the U.S.). Though the car was clearly a custom build, and maybe even one of the limited-run wagon conversions we reported on last year, authorities became suspicious of the BMW and seized it for examination by their "stolen vehicle expert squad."
Express & Star reports the stolen vehicle inspectors found what they were looking for, linking components in the car's drivetrain to a pair of M3 thefts, one in 2018 and another in 2019. Possibly sketchier, though, was the discovery that the wagon was what the Brits call a "cut-and-shut," or an amalgamation of wrecked cars whose good parts have been welded together to form a single, fantastically dangerous vehicle. Police say components from no less than four vehicles were found while inspecting the German performance car.
"This BMW looked great on the outside, you can't fault the paint job, but scratch beneath the veneer and it was just tag-welded and structurally unsafe," commented Police Constable Mark Wheaver of the Central Motorway Police Group. "Whoever had bodged this car together had gone to significant lengths to try and hide its true identity. Numbers had been ground off and stickers removed but we have expert vehicle examiners who use techniques to overcome these obstacles."
It's possible that this car-crushing may not have been done in accordance with legal procedure. A local business that claims to have worked on the BMW before its destruction claims law enforcement has been ordered by a judge to cough up, though nothing has been found to confirm that side of the story.
"This car was crushed before the [owner's] case was actually heard in court," said Unit 17 in an Instagram post. "The judge that heard this case ordered the vehicle should go back to its [sic] owner, unfortunately by then the car had already been crushed, following this there was a further dispute which West Midlands Police were ordered to compensate for the value of the vehicle which could not be determined. We don't know how much but that has now been settled and the police have paid for the vehicle that they destroyed."
While we don't know the intricacies of the British justice system, this car and its apparently stolen components likely shouldn't have been crushed. If it truly was made from ill-gotten parts, whoever built the car would've been able to identify where they got said parts and given police a paper trail to follow. That's neither here nor there now, but this probably won't be the last we hear of the saga.
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