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French auto journalist arrested for industrial espionage against Renault

Although spy photos fuel the automotive news industry, publications usually draw the line when it comes to photographs taken within the confines of an automaker's private property. However, one French magazine may have crossed that line, resulting in the arrest of one of its journalists.

In July 2007, Auto Plus ran pictures of the yet-to-be-released Renault Megane, which actually isn't slated to hit the market until 2010. Renault quickly filed a complaint of industrial espionage with local authorities, which consequently took a year before any action was taken. But Auto Plus' office was raided this week, resulting in the seizure of computers and other documents, as well as the arrest of one Auto Plus employee.

No Renault employees have been arrested - as the photos were obviously an inside job - but at least one employee is being questioned, according to Automotive News.