With more than 10 400 number plates stolen last year, many people took advantage of having anti-theft screws fitted to their vehicle’s number plates on Thursday under the SAFEP8 program.July 31, 2014 3:25am
Greater Shepparton police crime prevention officer Glenn Gibson attaches anti-theft screws to a number plate in Tatura on Thursday.
The four-hour Victoria Police and Shepparton Community Group initiative, assisted by Tatura Lions Club members, was held at the Caltex Service Station in Hogan St, and only cost motorists a gold coin donation.
And there was no shortage of takers, with the two service bays in constant use most of the time.
Victoria Police advise that number plates are the most commonly stolen property from vehicles, with offenders using stolen number plates to avoid identification when committing serious offences such as petrol theft, drug trafficking and burglary.
Motorists can help prevent serious offences, and avoid the inconvenience and cost of replacing their number plates, by securing them with one-way, anti-theft screws. They only cost a few dollars and can be fitted with a standard screw driver.
Greater Shepparton police crime prevention officer Glenn Gibson stressed the importance of having secure number plates.
He said theft of number plates was becoming an all-too-common problem, particularly personalised number plates, which were often taken as souvenirs.
‘‘I can’t stress enough the importance of having secure number plates. Most people don’t check their number plates on a day-to-day basis and only realise they are missing when they get a knock on the door by police to say they have been used in a crime,’’ he said.
In the SAFEPL8 program Victoria Police will target and detect offenders, but it is up to motorists to make their number plates harder to steal.
They suggest, in order to deter the theft of number plates, car owners should park their vehicles in a secure place off the street, or in a garage or carport where possible.
‘‘Stay alert and report the theft of number plates to police as soon as possible. This will help us detect offenders,’’ Victoria Police said.
‘‘Always lock your car to prevent other thefts, and take notice of activity in your neighbourhood. Report suspicious activity to your local police (5824 3099) or Crime Stoppers (1800 333 000).’’
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