Don’t give crime a free ride
A recent spate of petrol drive-offs in Rutherglen and around the region has prompted police and Rutherglen Neighbourhood Watch to hold a Safe Plate Day on July 9.
The idea is to replace the screws on vehicle number plates with anti-theft ones, which cannot be removed without the use of a specific tool.
It can be done for a gold coin donation and a few minutes of your time.
The Safe Plate Day will be held on Sunday, July 9 in the IGA car park in Rutherglen during the Rutherglen Farmers Market Day, between 9am and 12.30pm.
Rutherglen Neighbourhood Watch area coordinator Neil Michael urged residents to attend after reports of three petrol drive-offs at the Shell in the main street in the past month.
Stolen number plates were used in each incident.
“Police have told us that the number plates were not stolen from around here, but they could easily be at any stage and we need to protect ourselves,” Mr Michael said.
“There has also been a considerable number of petrol drive-offs in the Albury and Wodonga area.
“We are asking residents to take advantage of this initiative.”
Police from both Albury and Wodonga will attend on the day to help replace the screws with anti-theft ones.
Rutherglen Police Sergeant Brian Curran said the rise in petrol drive-offs was becoming a major problem for police, with stolen plates also being used for other crimes such as robberies and drug related crimes.
Sgt Curran said if residents could not make it on July 9, they could take their vehicle to their mechanic and ask for the anti-theft screws for a gold coin donation.
Meanwhile, Mr Michael is hoping to attract more residents to the Rutherglen Neighbourhood Watch group, which is short on numbers.
The group has just four active members but there are 41 residents who help deliver the monthly newsletter.
“We would like to get more people along to our meetings; we had between 30 and 40 people when the group was first established about 30 years ago,” Mr Michael said.
The group meets bi-monthly on the third Tuesday of each month.
Those interested in joining the Rutherglen Neighbourhood Watch group can phone Mr Michael on 0418 126 448.
Rutherglen Neighbourhood Watch area co-ordinator Neil Michael is encouraging drivers to secure their number plates with anti-theft screws.