If opportunity makes the thief, it can also put them in jail if they do not know their goods well.
Any police officer will tell you that thieves are lazy people in search of the easiest target around. Some are also pretty stupid, as you will see in the video above. It shows crooks trying to fill up an electric car at a gas station in Brazil last May 26. The black JAC iEV40 was stolen in Curitiba, Paraná, and finally recovered in Garuva, Santa Catarina, 99.2 km (61.6 mi) away.
The video was released by the Polícia Rodoviária Federal, or PRF – something like Federal Highway Patrol. It shows one of the two thieves and the EV parked beside a gas pump. The guy with the grey shirt is the gas jockey – in Brazil, all gas stations still require these workers. The bandit is the man in the yellow hoodie.
The video reveals they move around the car for a long time, trying to find the gas tank cap. At some point, they pop the hood to check the engine. When they do so, we can hear the gas jockey and a police officer comment that the car had a “100 percent electric” sticker there.
Gallery: Unaware Stolen Car Was An EV, Brazilian Thieves Try To Put Gas In It And Get Arrested
The PRF officer confesses he did not know there were pure electric cars for sale in Brazil. They are relatively new in that country. The BMW i3 is available there since 2014, but initially only in the REx version. The first EV without any sort of combustion engine assistance there was the Renault ZOE, sold since November 2018, but first-delivered in April 2019.
Concerning the JAC iEV40, it is based on the JAC iEV7S, which is the electric version of the JAC Refine S2, also called T40 in Brazil. It was once the most affordable EV for sale in Brazil. In China, this car helped create the SOL E20X from a joint venture with Volkswagen. We have recently told you Volkswagen wants to buy 50 percent of the holding that controls JAC Motors.
When a PRF car arrives at the gas station for refueling, the thief gets terrified, according to the gas jockey, and quickly gets back into the EV. Soon afterward, the JAC iEV40 leaves the gas station.
The PRF officers learned about that and tried to locate the vehicle. It was found in another gas station in Garuva, locked and using the license plate of a Nissan Versa, probably a copy. In Brazil, people say these license plates are “cloned.” A VW Gol was leaving the gas station and was stopped by the cops.
Both the EV occupants were there. They were immediately arrested. A woman and a minor that were with them were also put under custody. The juvenile, due to Brazilian laws, cannot be deemed criminally responsible. He will probably go to a “Youth Authority.”
While the bad guys will be charged with theft and forming a criminal gang, the car is currently at the police department of Garuva, waiting to get back to its owner. Who would say that EVs in Brazil would have such an unusual theft protection system called a power plug, right?