Car number-plate thefts

PUBLISHED: 14:47 27 November 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

A SHARP rise in thefts of car number plates is baffling police who are struggling to understand what they are being used for. Since the start of September there have been 42 number plates stolen in the St Albans district and nearly 50 in Hertsmere. Police

A SHARP rise in thefts of car number plates is baffling police who are struggling to understand what they are being used for.

Since the start of September there have been 42 number plates stolen in the St Albans district and nearly 50 in Hertsmere.

Police think the plates may be stolen for bilking offences (stealing petrol), avoiding the congestion charge and young people using them on skateboards.

But central area detective chief inspector Mike Marren said: "We know that less than a quarter of stolen number plates are subsequently used in crime but we cannot understand why the majority of number plates are being taken. In many cases, both the front and rear number plates are being taken."

He urged anyone with information on the thefts to contact the police on 0845 33 00 222 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Drivers are advised to use their garages, park in well-lit areas and buy tamper-proof security screws to make the number plates more difficult to steal.

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