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RNS-E Navigation Unit thefts - UPDATED

Discussion in 'A3/S3/Sportback (8P Chassis)' started by warren_S5, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    For owners of cars with RNS-e units it seems that the number of thefts may again be on the rise, and specifically in certain parts of the country.

    Today I've been liaising with one of our forum members whose car has been broken into in the Leeds area.

    Here is an excerpt from our exchange of emails which give a scale of magnitude of the damage these people are prepared to do to get one, and the volume of issues that are being reported in a single area.

    It was indeed the RNS-E that was taken, they've made a right mess of the door frame while trying to pry the glass out too. The repair company said this was the 27th they'd done this month and over 100 have been done so far this year. The chap at the garage said he was at some seminar recently where an Audi representative acknowledged the problem and said Audi were trying to develop a retrofittable way of making them non removable to try and stop this.

    The problem seems to be particularly bad around the Leeds area, so much so that it's being treated as the number 1 priority by the community policing team. The suspicion is that the thieves are operating out of Bradford but I think this is speculation rather than based on arrests.


    PLEASE be extra vigilant with any information you choose to share online (photos / modifications lists / garage / build threads). I'm not saying the forums are necessarily going to be a source for opportunists who are after nav or mirrors, but I think all of us (including myself) can be accused of being quite open with what we share on here.

    Appreciate for those without a garage / secure parking this is a bigger issue, but with crime only likely to go up given the current economic climate you may wish to review your procedures and security.

    Might be worth discussing within this thread any useful ideas as to how we can better protect our cars (Smart water / Pentagon Tinting Films / post code marking RNSE casings etc.) as this may only become a bigger problem.

    Given the unnaturally high number of RNS-e units floating about on the bay you may want to think about where these are coming from, and what you may be funding by buying them too (again, including myself in this as I bought one 3 yers ago).

    Over to you for ideas and innovations, and our thanks go out to forum member Jon for sharing the information, and at the same time our thoughts as his car has been damaged extensively so a pikey can make a few bob.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2011
    #1
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  3. Shane.
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    Shane. Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Bloody theiving scum, smart water is ok we have recentely started using at work but although they say it's impossible to get off that isn't the case my generator has smart water tagging and this is just a light coating they put on the top of the surface which could easily be removed with some abrasive. Etching a post code of reg may be an option using a dremel or similar or possibly even removing th eglove box to secure it from behind somehow. The only problem is they have already done the damage to your car to find your security measures
    #2
  4. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Funny you mention this Warren. I just nipped home for some dinner and spoke with my old woman, she told me a large quantity of cars had been broken into nearby with the thieves looking for things inside the car (obviously electrical's). This is just outside of Leeds near Guiseley.

    Thanks for the heads up!
    #3
  5. ern
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    ern Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Iv got my car up in Leeds but there is nothing on show and nothing of value in there.. Its got the symphony headunit in there which isnt worth the hassle really. But as said, once theyre in your car then the expensive damage is already done.

    Is this audi specific do you think?
    #4
  6. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    As far as I am aware the incidents nearby were not Audi related. However I'm sure that whoever was involved is more than aware of the money involved with RNS-E units. Best thing to recommend is keeping the car in a well lit area. Putting up lots of security lighting at our gaf this weekend as we're getting more and more concerned about the E93 M3 going missing.
    #5
  7. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Not sure really; but Audi owners are likely to have the cash to buy them on the bay (logic may dictate). I'm going to get my front windows Pentagon security filmed when the new car arrives as I'd get more satisfaction out of causing these chimps a hard time.

    People might think about where they park there cars to limit exposure of risk (e.g. car parks with CCTV / etc.)

    I just think where people are aware it may reduce the incidence of theft rather than thinking there is no issue to start with.
    #6
  8. ern
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    ern Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    #7
  9. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    In West Yorkshire. No collections!!

    I suppose another thing worth doing (and I know this doesn't mean they can't hack the code), it's worth taking your handbook with the code out of the car as your just making their lives that much easier.
    #8
  10. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    MORE THANK LIKELY! Not sure looking at his other items if its a good or bad thing... ITEMS FOR SALE.
    #9
  11. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Surely this will be reported?
    #10
  12. Lings
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    Lings Active Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    J8ypw what car is that in your sig ?
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  13. Lings
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    Lings Active Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    I think Audi should make either a shielded pull down or an easier to remove unit .
    For the price of these units i would never have one in my car .to much temptation for the scum bags .
    #12
  14. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Where have you been living for the past 6 months Lingy? :)

    Its the RS3
    #13
  15. Jameze
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    Jameze James

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    This makes me sick! I live in North Leeds and was considering getting an RNS-E unit. I'm having to think twice now thanks to some scumbags with nothing better to do. It's just not worth the risk of damage to your car, never mind the cost of replacing one of these units.

    Hopefully my Symphony Gen II+ won't attract any unwanted attention, but people will nick anything to make a few quid...
    #14
  16. Sandra
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    Sandra MODERATOR Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Maybe would be wise for those who have rns-e in there signature to delete this incase someone is looking through the forum as a guest.
    #15
  17. Paul_S3
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    Paul_S3 Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    You have seen my pictures of ruined door and no RNS-E in the Dash. Big problem in Holland for 2 years and Audi is doing nothing.
    Also the shield for the VW's that are available are cracked and giving more damage.

    I remove my RNS-E every day :D Call me crazy :p
    #16
  18. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    You're crazy :scared2:
    #17
  19. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Not crazy, but I do feel sad for the measures your being forced to take.
    #18
  20. HIGGINS
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    HIGGINS Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    I went to see an rns-e in newcastle a few month ago and it was £350 for the 2010 version with silver buttons and led screen.

    When i had a closer look at the unit i could tell it was stolen as he said it comes with no radio code but you can get one from audi for £30 and it was slightly bent at the top and bottom where they have ripped it out with a crow bar or something and bent the metal. I told him id think about it and walked :( was pretty gutted at the time haha
    #19
  21. 3.2 Ju
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    3.2 Ju Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    My mate bought an RNS-E in Leeds from a seller on Pistonheads a couple of months ago. He said it had recently been removed from his A3, funnily enough, 2 weeks later he had another one for sale with the same reason! May be coincidence but sounded dodgy to me.
    Thanks for the heads up though Warren as I'm from Bradford!
    #20
  22. J8Y PW
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    J8Y PW Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Where abouts from the B'Town u from Ju? Anyhwere near Shipley?
    #21
  23. 3.2 Ju
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    3.2 Ju Well-Known Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Used to live in Frizinghall m8 when I was a kid, wifes family still live there. I live near Wibsey now.
    #22
  24. Originalgeezer
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    Originalgeezer Member

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    [Aug 24, 2011]
    Then report all suspicious adverts either on eBay or piston heads....if they own it legally they can then prove it - simples.
    #23
  25. danb986
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    danb986 In awe of VCDS

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    It's a tough one, but I'd be worried about securing the unit in the car too well, as this will just result in them smashing the hell out of the dash to get it out. The damage to the dash and interior could add up to more than the unit itself. If they'd already done the damage to the door getting in, then I think I'd rather them be able to remove the unit without them needing to use their crowbar again.

    Sadly this is a mod I'm put off doing now. I've just got the Symphony (the one with the bigger screen), so hopefully the dumb pikeys won't think it's something better than it is. I know to us the difference is very obvious, but we're talking about inbred uneducated low lifes here.
    #24
  26. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    The 'No Collections' bit in that ebay listing is a dead giveaway.

    EDIT: I've just reported that listing. Let them prove its theirs, thieving scummy crunpets
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
    #25
  27. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    That wont help at all, ebay for one arent interested at all, Police wont do anything without a crime being reported or proof etc.

    Its all very well us talking about marking things, but that doesnt achieve the goal does it, you need a deterrant from even trying to nick it, as the rns is the small cost, its the damage to dash, doors etc that costs more, plus insurance hike etc, got to think sensibly to avoid the damage in the 1st place, marker pen etc wont do squat to cut this down, unfortunately not all humans are so honest & if they see a cheap deal they will still buy it on ebay, pistonheads etc, there's millions of 8P's on the road, we're a very very small number out of those.

    Audi should of linked intelligently, the screen or removable part to the base unit, so they only work together & anyother removable part wont work with another base unit, but hey thats audi for you.
    #26
  28. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    I dont agree tbh, collections requires someone to be around at a given time of day, wait for them to arrive etc, you cant make assumptions without knowing the reasons, yes it can be speculated this is a reason or they just dont want the hassle of being stuck somewhere waiting for someone to collect etc as they maybe have young kids, work, etc etc all are valid reasons, plus it can be a ridiculous ball breaker for collections tbh as they try & haggle price, mess you about, dont turn up etc etc etc.
    #27
  29. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    Just call it a gut feeling of an ex copper lol. It makes you very very scepticle
    #28
  30. NHN
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    NHN Retrofitter - Audi - VW - Skoda - Seat Site Sponsor VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    But would you disagree with what I've said lol.
    #29
  31. warren_S5
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    warren_S5 Moderator Staff Member Moderator VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    I appreciate the marking of kit won't stop it getting nicked in the first place.

    Maybe there is nothing we can do but sit and hope, but some may want to reconsider their security protocol (lighting / CCTV / choice of parking / marking / reduce internet advertisment of mods etc.), rather than just shrug and say another one bites the dust. A bit of due diligence is often as good as you can do, but if it narrows the margin or risk I think it's better than doing nothing.

    The RNS-e has to be on it's last legs as its well behind the times. Even the A1 has a independent screen on the dash, so the new A3 will undoubtedly offer the same, but in the meantime for those who may have paid out £1600+ for a factory fit unit, sometimes just some awareness as to where they are parking may be enough to stop a theft, particularly as Christmas is around the corner, and this is when the time is rife for this sort of activity.

    If some improved awareness from reading this thread stops just one forum members RNSe being robbed then it was worth the reiteration as it's so easy to become complacent. Appreciate there may not be any quick fixes as such.
    #30
  32. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    I would neither agree nor disagree. I accept your point that sometimes collection isn't possible because people are out at work etc. But if that was me listing it, I would put something like 'Collection possible but please contact me to arrange a mutually convenient time'.

    Given the content in post #1, and the content of that listing and a coppers nose, and I smell a rat. He has about 10 units from different cars listed. All No Collection, some with codes, others without. That in itself rings alarm bells with me. We get cars into my workshop every day where people have left the radio code card in the service book wallet in the glove box, especially Fords. I always tell customers to take them out.

    I accept your point of view Nige and he may well be genuine, but mine is; I feel very uncomfortable with them listings
    #31
  33. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    Well I must be a kleptomaniac then, because pretty much everything I sell on ebay is 'no collections'. Mainly because I don't want any Thomas, Richard or Harold off the internet with an ebay account and 0 feedback knowing where me and my family and my TV and my car live.
    #32
  34. Lings
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    Lings Active Member

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    Collection on ebay has one other problem .the buyer turns up takes item
    then a week later contacts paypal saying nothing turned up .You cant label no collection as dodgy lol
    #33
  35. gary3306
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    gary3306 Member VCDS Map User

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    All I'm saying is, I feel uncomfortable about that listing. Thats my opinion of that listing given whats been said/advised above. If others are happy with it then thats their choice. For me, I wouldn't buy that unit. It doesn't sit right WITH ME.
    #34
  36. box500
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    box500 Member

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    Only problem is when they win an item they can see your address details on the order regardless of delivery method..
    #35
  37. box500
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    box500 Member

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    #36
  38. Ads
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    Ads License to drive

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    I don't think you're correct there. I've bought plenty of stuff from ebay and have had to wait for the seller to send me their address.
    And besides, I don't have my home address as my default address.
    #37
  39. box500
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    box500 Member

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    Not using home address = problem solved regardless.
    #38
  40. voorhees
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    voorhees Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    I'd say upgrade your alarm system,my car is an 8L which has a standard alarm which is akin to a cheap digital watch alarm,my upgraded one has knock/proximity sensors and a very loud alarm also the safety film on the glass sounds good.

    My view on marking the units is like the mirror covers,people are ignorant as they have the mindset of 1) getting it cheap 2) It'll never happen to me.
    Only a few would actually report it,someone earlier said the unit had all the hallmarks of a stolen one yet they didn't report it to the police ( I'm not being offensive ) this is hypothetical but you could be upsetting a big criminal business,which after the courts have dealt with them will be out in a few years so you'd be a marked man.

    Just my view :ninja:
    #39
  41. Khufu
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    Khufu Active Member

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    [Aug 25, 2011]
    a slight lame idea..

    they wouldnt steal one if it was broken? Maybe something along these lines but like a peel off sticker kids get:

    Broken Glass Background Sticker | Zazzle.co.uk

    it would only need to pass a quick torch light?
    #40

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