4 December 2019
Theft and cloning of vehicle number plates is an increasing concern with “far-reaching impact”, the National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council (NMVTRC) warns.
Data collected by the council shows 16,921 number plates were stolen in Victoria in 2018/19 – more than the number of vehicles stolen over the same period.
“Not only does the theft of number plates cause great inconvenience to victims, plates are often stolen to facilitate other crimes such as petrol theft, robberies, house break-ins, drug trafficking, avoiding camera-based traffic infringements and toll evasion,” the NMVTRC says.
“Police are also reporting an increased detection of cloned plates. When the identity of the vehicle is concealed, it makes it a lot harder for police to detect, investigate and solve crimes.”
More than half (58%) of all number plate thefts involve both front and rear plates being stolen, and almost all were from registered vehicles. Some 94% of number plates were stolen from passenger/light commercial vehicles.
The statistics show that almost half (46%) of thefts were from vehicles aged 10-19 years old, and 49% were from vehicles valued at less than $5000.
About 33% of number plates stolen were from vehicles parked on the street and 10% were from vehicles parked in a car park, and 85% of number plate thefts were from metropolitan areas.