Bright Idea?: Thieves Pilfering Porsche Headlights to Grow Pot

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on November 06, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Porsche owners in Amsterdam have been waking up to find their cars vandalized, but the only parts missing are the headlights.

The opportunistic thieves aren't interested in the luxury vehicles. Instead, what they want are the high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights that come standard with many high-end cars.

The HID lights have an interesting use among Amsterdam's newest batch of criminals: They're taking the powerful lights so they can grow marijuana.

It's legal in Amsterdam to grow marijuana for recreational use, but growing indoors requires a particular combination of light and heat, according to Autoblog.

Turns out, HID lights are a perfect tool to maximize growing efficiency. But on the market, they cost quite a bit. So long as you don't get caught, however, stealing them doesn't cost anything. But if HID headlamp thieves are busted, they would have to pay for more than just the lights.

The problem currently appears confined to Amsterdam, but let's assume a similar issue was happening in the United States. After all, while marijuana is illegal, there are still some people who are willing to take the risk to grow it indoors.

For stealing such a large-ticket item, it's likely criminal charges would be pressed against the thief. But the victim would also be able to press civil charges.

Unlike criminal charges which result in jail time or a fine paid to the government, a civil case is designed to restore the victim to the position he was in before the crime.

For theft of a car part, that means more than just the cost of the item stolen. It can also include the cost of installing the replacement -- which, for a luxury car, can be a lot. That's because the victim isn't "made whole" until the car is put back together.

So far, the marijuana-related HID headlamp thefts are only in Amsterdam, and there have been no reports of this happening in the United States -- yet. But American Porsche owners may want to be ready to call a lawyer: Your pricey headlamps could be next.

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