I had to learn about this unique Dutch crime from an American friend. This does not seem to be big news in The Netherlands, but apparently it is making news all over the world.
In Amsterdam, thieves have been stealing the headlights of Porsches, specifically the Porsche Cayenne and Panamera models. Why? The police believe that the lights are wanted for growing marijuana. Yes, you read that correctly.
It seems that these are Xenon bulbs and they are a strong light that gives off a lot of heat, but they are energy efficient, so not that much electricity is being used. Perfect for growing cannabis.
The headlights are also pretty easy to steal. I saw on a hidden video that it takes less than a minute to yank off the two lights. Porsche is now working on a better way of making the lights harder to steal. It is really not the Porsche light they want, it is the Xenon light that is the appeal. The strange thing is that there are other cars with the same lights, but it seems that only Porsche lights are being stolen. The thieves simply prefer these cars because they are easy to steal and maybe they are just a little snobby about name brands.
At last count, 35 sets of lights have been stolen in Amsterdam. There have been no thefts in other Dutch cities, only Amsterdam. Each light costs up to $1000 to replace.
In The Netherlands, it is legal to grow cannabis. You can legally grow up to five plants per household. So they are stealing lights to do something legal. Unless there is one grower with a huge amount of plants and he/she is in need of many lights at once. And why only Amsterdam? Why not Rotterdam or The Hague? Why not my favorite city, Utrecht? How did they find out that these lamps were perfect for growing this crop? It is interesting to note that the thieves or farmers are concerned about electrical costs, I guess everyone is worried about their utility bills nowadays.
Imagine spending thousands of euros on a luxury car and then finding the lights missing. There are not that many garages in Amsterdam, so most cars are out in the open air. Hopefully, Porsche will quickly come up with a solution that makes it hard to steal their lights. Until then, things are going to keep growing in The Netherlands. Cool, dude.
Recommended reading: PRISONER OF HEAVEN by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. This is the third in the series, the first being SHADOW OF THE WIND. If you have not read these books, please make sure you read them in order. Zafon is such a gifted writer…a master storyteller.
A CHRISTMAS STORY