Number plates are stolen for criminal purposes
Yesterday I tweeted about a number plate thief who was caught because he bragged about it. But why did he steal the number plate...and what was there to brag about? And why would the police be interested in number plate theft anyway?
Well this particular incident involved the owner of a fiesta stealing a front number plate from a different car, fixing to his own car, and filling up with petrol...then driving off without paying. The idea, of course, is to attempt to 'fool' the cameras used in all petrol forecourts these days. The thief made off with £53 petrol...a full tank. The camera records the wrong registration number...leading the police to the innocent owner. Or at least...that was this particular thief's plan.
Stealing number plates for use on the thief's car is known as cloning. And it's not as uncommon as you might think. We've talked about number plate theft before. Used in petrol drive-offs, illegal parking, and speeding....to name just a few of the things these criminals get up to. Some drivers steal petrol regularly by stealing number plates and cloning cars.
The DVLA have introduced rules that stop just anyone printing number plates, of course...and number plate law came into force some years ago. That's to make it more difficult for criminals to have just any number plate made up. Stealing number plates is one way around the rules.
What do you do if your number plates are stolen?
It's naturally frustrating If you return to find your number plates have been removed from your car. You'll have the inconvenience and expense of having to replace them of course. But replacing the plates isn't the only thing you need to do. See what to do if your number plates are stolen.