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Holden beefs up security following $2m theft of engines
26/07/2012 - Seven people have been charged over a $2 million theft of engines from Holden's Adelaide operations, prompting the car maker to beef up security.
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Police say 140 V8 engines and 175 heavy-duty transmissions are believed to have been stolen from the Elizabeth plant over a two-year period.
They have arrested six South Australians and a 40-year-old man from Queensland after recovering 30 of the V8 engines and 103 of the transmissions.
The seven face money laundering and theft charges and have been bailed to appear in the Elizabeth Magistrates Court on August 22.
Police have not ruled out further arrests.
Detectives said on Wednesday they had begun their inquiries in January after finding two Holden V8 engines, still in shipping crates.
Since then they had tracked the alleged sale trail from Ceduna to Port Pirie, the Riverland, Northern Territory, NSW and to Queensland.
Police will allege the thefts took place over a two-year period and that one of those arrested was an employee at the Elizabeth plant during that time.
They allege the engines and parts were sold on eBay and by word of mouth, while some purchasers were solicited directly by email.
Holden said that in late 2010 it discovered a number of engines were missing and began an internal investigation, which continued in conjunction with police inquiries.
The company said its inventory tracking and audit systems were robust and in line with global standards.
But it said it would move to improve security and inventory checks.
"GM Holden's internal investigation has already identified certain areas in which we can further tighten both inventory controls and security measures," it said in a statement.
"GM Holden will continue its internal investigation and collaborate with police on this matter.
"All necessary steps will be taken to protect GM Holden from criminal activity."
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