Police baffled by number plate thefts
November 08, 2007
MYSTERY still surrounds the reason for a bizarre type of theft that is on the increase in Bracknell Forest.
A message was sent out on the Thames Valley Police Ringmaster service last Tuesday warning residents of an increase in the theft of car registration plates from vehicles around the borough.
The thefts have been plaguing the borough for some time, as the Standard reported back in September police had few ideas as to the reasons behind the crime.
At the time Inspector Michael Squire said: “I’m absolutely convinced they’re not being used to avoid paying congestion charges.
“They’re not being put on stolen cars. Most of the time it’s only one plate that’s stolen.
“Perhaps it’s one bloke who has a house full of number plates.
“I literally haven’t a clue.”
But with reports still coming in thick and fast, police are having to think again about possible reasons.
PC Michael Foot, neighbourhood specialist officer for Birch Hill and Hanworth, said: “Every day we get another call from someone reporting that their registration plate has gone missing.
“It is just a total mystery as to why people are taking them, but they are disappearing from all over the borough.
“We had thought they were being used to reinforce skateboards but now we do not think they would be strong enough to do so.
“We don’t really know why they are being taken, so anyone who can shed some light on this would be a real help.”
PC Foot said the best ways people can protect their cars are to, if possible, put them in a garage at night as this is when most of the thefts occur, and secure their number plates with special screws available from hardware stores.
He added: “It is just really annoying for people to have to replace a number plate as they will have to dig out their registration details and pay for a new plate.
“Anyone who knows anything about the thefts should come forward and let us know.”
Contact the police on (0845) 8 505 505 or Crimestoppers on (0800) 555 111.