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Foreign Number Plate Theft...

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Old 29th May 2018, 20:45
woodstock1 woodstock1 is offline
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Foreign Number Plate Theft...

Hi again everyone. I will be driving to Odessa from the UK in late July, or early August this year. On my previous visit to visit my wife and kids I successfully obtained car insurance for my UK registered car. That has put my mind at rest about crossing the border, but my wife has heard that there has been an increase in theft of foreign number plates, and them being held to ransom, obviously the car can't leave Ukraine without them. Has anyone heard anything about this? It'd be interesting to know if it would be worth taking a spare set of plates, hidden in the car somewhere..... what do you think everyone?? thanks...
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Old 5th June 2018, 17:35
Hannia Hannia is offline
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EXCERPT: Consumer Editor, Telegraph Cars
11 May 2016 • 2:29pm

Research reveals more than 20,000 number plates are stolen per year – and how to stop it happening to you \

Huge numbers of drivers are now having their number plates stolen, according to new research by the RAC.

The organisation sent Freedom of Information requests to 34 police forces and based on the responses it received, it has revealed that more than 20,700 number plates were stolen in England and Wales during 2014 – an average of 56 per day.

But why are criminals stealing just the car’s number plates?

Put simply, to disguise their own cars, or cars they plan to use for criminal purposes. One of the most common ways to use stolen number plates is in fuel theft. Drivers attach stolen number plates to a car and then drive into a fuel station, fill the car with fuel and drive off.

But fuel theft isn’t the only reason number plates are stolen. Cars with stolen plates have also been used in other crimes, including shop lifting, burglaries or robberies.

Other cases have involved drivers avoiding paying for insurance or tax by attaching stolen number plates to cars of a similar make, model and colour, and then driving around without the risk of triggering automatic number plate recognition systems on police cars.

Why do I need to be concerned?

Because if your number plates are stolen and attached to a car used in a crime, police will use the number plate details to trace the car, which will come back to wherever the car is registered. So you could find the police knocking at your door.

Worse still, if the number plates have been attached to a car of a similar make, model and colour to yours, you would have to prove it wasn’t you. If you don’t happen to have a good alibi, that could land you in all sorts of trouble.

Even if that doesn’t happen, you could still find yourself on the receiving end of fixed penalty notices or parking tickets if someone is driving around with your registration number on their car.

Let’s not forget that, in addition to these worries, you won’t be able to drive your car legally on the road if your number plates are stolen, until you buy yourself a new pair – costing you both time and money.

How can I prevent my number plates being stolen?

First, follow the usual car theft prevention tips. Make sure your car is always parked securely in a well-lit area, as close as possible to your home or the place where you’ll be staying. It’s a good idea to leave it in sight of buildings or offices, or even better, to park it in an area with CCTV coverage.

If you really want to prevent your number plates from being stolen, you can purchase anti-tamper screws with which to secure them to your car. These work on the same principle as locking wheel nuts, and come with special heads that can only be removed with a locking tool, also supplied.

Some versions even come with a rotating sleeve around the head, so that they can’t be grasped with pliers or mole grips.

If that’s not enough for you, you can also buy theft-resistant number plates, which are impossible to remove in less than three minutes. Some versions are even rendered unusable if they aren’t removed properly, in a particular way.

What should I do if my number plates are stolen?

Without hesitation, you should contact the police. Making them aware that your number plates have been stolen could help you enormously if it later turns out they were used to commit crimes.

What’s more, they may be able to track down the offender or even stop them while out on the road.

You should also get your number plates replaced as soon as possible, so that your car is road legal again. Be aware that you may then be stopped by police more frequently when out on the road, simply to check whether your number plates are legally yours or not.

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