In 1986, US rappers The Beastie Boys started to appear on stage with Volkswagen badges around their necks. This unlikely fashion statement sparked a mini crime-wave. Fans throughout the world descended on parked Golfs and Polos and prised off the coveted ‘VW’ badges with screwdrivers. Then they strung them and wore them as pendants, thus aping their heroes and demonstrating their fearless street nous.
The manufacturers responded by ordering up enough replacement badges to fill a room four-feet wide by eight-feet deep.
Although the craze eventually died down, a spate of VW badge theft was reported in Yorkshire as late as 2000.