Police in Portugal have broken up a theft ring that exclusively targeted Smart Fortwo . The thieves were (not surprisingly) affiliated with an independent Smart repair shop, and the perpetrators had their stash of stripped down cars and spare parts seized as well.
According to police, Smarts can be easily disassembled using an allen key, screwdrivers and other hand tools. Some cars were left stripped in the streets, while others were turned into new cars using fake VIN numbers and a Frankenstein mish-mash of parts from other vehicles.
Some owners ended up buying cars and parts back from the chop shops on the black market. Steering wheels were a hot ticket, as they cost nearly $1000 new, but went for much less thanks to the five-finger discount available on the stolen variety.