Spike in plate thefts a con­cern for po­lice

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Gareth McKnight

An­other spike in stolen ve­hi­cle num­ber plates in the Rock­ing­ham area has seen a re­newed call for res­i­dents to in­stall anti-theft screws.

The Tele­graph re­ported back in March that num­ber plate theft was on the rise lo­cally, with this trend con­tin­u­ing of late.

Po­lice claim per­pe­tra­tors are us­ing the stolen plates on their own ve­hi­cles in an at­tempt to be anony­mous on the roads or to steal fuel from petrol sta­tions.

Rock­ing­ham Po­lice Sta­tion of­fi­cer-in-charge Se­nior Sergeant Brett Reyne said there had been a spike in the amount of num­ber plate thefts last week.

“Of­fend­ers are us­ing the bad weather to dis­guise their move­ments, with an in­crease in the num­ber of num­ber plates stolen in the area while it has been rain­ing,” he said.

“The pur­pose of steal­ing num­ber plates is for peo­ple to use them on their ve­hi­cles to pos­si­bly com­mit bur­glar­ies and fuel drive-offs.”

Mo­tor Trade As­so­ci­a­tion of WA chief ex­ec­u­tive Stephen Moir said peo­ple needed to take own­er­ship of the is­sue and in­stall an­titheft screws.

“It is a metro-wide is­sue; the cars are los­ing plates and then nor­mally be­ing ap­plied to sim­i­lar styles of ve­hi­cles and then be­ing used for crime,” he said.

“What we are en­cour­ag­ing mo­torists to do, and we are meet­ing this week with a num­ber of as­so­ci­a­tions, is to have one-way screws in­stalled on their plates to make it im­pos­si­ble to get them off.

“They are not ex­pen­sive; we are work­ing with the po­lice with a strat­egy of get­ting them out as broadly as pos­si­ble.

“We are also try­ing to en­cour­age car deal­er­ships to in­stall them on their cars.”

The City of Rock­ing­ham part­nered with WA Po­lice in March to pro­vide and in­stall anti-theft screws. The Bun­nings Ware­house web­site shows that a 50pack of zinc-plated anti-theft screws cost $5.42.

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