Ipswich’s hotspots for stolen number plate crimes
STOLEN number plates are helping criminals carry out thefts without the fear of being identified.
Number plates have been the target of thieves in the Springfield and Redbank Plains areas, with police urging the public to keep a look out and protect themselves by using specially designed screws.
Springfield Acting Officer in Charge Senior Sergeant Ben MacKenzie said police had been receiving between two and four reports a week.
“People head back to their car, whether it’s parked in front of their house, a shop, train station or wherever it might be and they notice their number plates are missing,” Snr Sgt MacKenzie said.
He said stolen number plates were being used on vehicles connected to crimes and that preventing the theft would help reduce the crime rate in the community.
“Some of the time, we find those number plates have turned up on other cars doing different offences,” he said.
“The majority of them involve stealing petrol, some include stealing alcohol from bottle shops and electrical goods from places like JB Hi-Fi.
Witnesses are great, they get the car rego but the plates end up being stolen ones.”
Snr Sgt MacKenzie recommended car owners use one-way screws, which can only be loosened with a special tool.
“Consider investing in one-way screws as it will make it harder for them to steal,” he said.
“Once they’re done up, they’re harder to get undone and require a special tool to undo.”
He said the trend of number plate theft tended to fluctuate.
“It’s not a major increase, it’s more a slow trend in the background but it’s a trend that’s preventable by spending a few dollars on a few screws,” he said.
“It can go a long way to preventing other crimes from occurring on the back of it.
“Keep an eye on your number plates. If the screws happen to be loose or look like they’re hanging off, make sure they’re screwed in as tight as they can be,” he said.