Tips on number plate thefts
In the grand scheme of things, having your car stolen is so much worse than just getting your number plates stolen. However, if you are one of the 27,000 people whose plates are stolen every year, the repercussions might be just as nightmarish.
Image courtesy of Dick Elbers
What you need to do when your number plates are stolen
Almost all stolen number plates are used for criminal activities. As such, you need to immediately lodge a police report after you plates have been stolen. Your reaction time could literally save lives, in the event the plates are meant to be used for heavy crimes. Beyond that, filing a police report will help protect you against any crimes and traffic offences committed using the number plates. Without a police report, you could be held liable for speeding tickets, parking fines, fuel thefts, and even road accidents! If you own a private number plate, the police report will be vital in any insurance claims or DVLA paperwork.
How to reduce the risk of number plates theft
Incidents of number plates theft have doubled over the past year. To ensure that you don’t become just another statistic, here are some tips to help you protect your plates better.
(i) Park safely
Thieves like to target vehicles parked in dark and secluded locations - so do the opposite. Park your car in well lighted locations with regular traffic flow. If you live inside a gated compound, park your car inside the gate. If you are parking on the street, do so under a street light. If you are using a car park, try to park near stair wells, CCTVs, lifts or guard stations.
(ii) Use safety screws
Unlike traditional screws, security screws are permanent, and cannot be unscrewed without damaging the number plates. You literally have to drill holes around the screws and you can’t use plier to pull them out. This will cause visible damages to the number plates and screw holes, rendering them unusable to criminals.
(iii) Tamper proof number plates
They cost more and are more flimsy, but tamper proof number plates break apart into pieces when taken off from vehicles. Thieves will just leave the plates behind once they noticed the tamper proof plates.
On a last note, recent data suggests vehicles with personal plates are 50% more likely to be targeted by thieves. So if you do own a personalised plate, be extra attention of your environment and follow the tips above.