Stolen plates used in fuel forecourt thefts

19th January 2011

Peterborough Today

By Adam Uren

MOTORISTS have been warned to keep a close eye out for "bilkers" who remove number-plates and then use them to steal petrol from filling stations.

A spate of thefts has seen 10 number plates stolen from vehicles in Peterborough in the past month.

Police have confirmed that two of the sets of plates stolen have been used for "bilking", which sees thieves attach them to their cars, fill the car with petrol and drive off without paying for the fuel.

The first incident happened in Morpeth Close, Orton Longueville, which saw plates ripped off a Volkswagen van parked in the street and put onto a grey Ford Mondeo on December 12 or 13.


Drivers left to clear their names

7th January 2011

BBC Online news

Have Your Say: Mystery crash?

Money Box has been hearing from drivers who say they are being left to clear their names by their insurers, after they were notified of accidents in which they were not involved.

Some cases are stretching out over months with no evidence being offered, and the drivers concerned could have their no claims bonuses damaged.

Man linked to 12 petrol station bilkings, CCTV issued: East Grinstead

22nd November 2010

Police are looking for a man who has been linked to at least 12 petrol station bilkings and two number plate thefts across the county.

Police Neighbourhood Support Officer, Nigel Barling said:

"Most of the bilkings, which is driving off without paying for your fuel, have occurred over the last year in Crawley and East Grinstead, but there has been recent activity in Crowborough, Uckfield and Lewes.

"The bilker attaches stolen number plates to his car before driving into a petrol station, fills up with fuel and then drives off, much to the annoyance of the garage staff."

The offender is described as:

•aged 30-50

•usually wears a wide-brimmed style hat and a long coat

•drives a green VW Golf Mk 4

If you recognise the bilker or the green Golf he drives please contact Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.

Alternatively call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

Rise in city and south Notts registration plate thefts - plates are taken to commit other crimes

21st October 2010

By guy woodford crime correspondent

CAR and van registration plate thefts are rising across Nottingham and south Notts

Crime prevention officer Robert Vaughan-Newton said there had been "at least" 500 incidents reported this year, 21 between October 1 and 14 alone.


Spate of number plate thefts

25th January 2011

Villagers have been warned to keep an eye on their cars after a spate of number plate thefts in Burnham.

Registration plates were stolen in a series of separate incidents and police believe they are being used by offenders to commit further crimes.

Four thefts have been reported since last Tuesday - three in Lent Green Lane and one in Norelands Drive.

"It doesn't sound like a lot but it is for one week," said PC Stuart Cook, neighbourhood specialist officer for Burnham.

"We don't know if it's the same people, but they're stealing the plates and then using them as they can't be traced."

One of the number plates stolen was linked with a subsequent smash-and-grab raid at Tesco in County Lane, Warfield.

Call for car number plate revamp

2nd June 2007

Thousands of vehicle number plates were stolen last year

The number plate system needs to be completely overhauled to beat a rise in "car cloning", police have said.

A record number are being cloned to enable people to commit crime and escape motoring fines, the Association of Chief Police Officers says.

More than 40,000 sets of number plates were stolen in 2006, a rise of almost 25%, according to police estimates.

Acpo wants a central issuing body for the registration numbers, and all cars to have tamper-proof plates fitted.

Acpo's Coventry-based Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service says it now has no confidence in the ability of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) licensing system to prevent cloning.

The service's Supt John Wake told BBC News: "The registration plate is the first form of identification of the vehicle to the general public.

"I don't have confidence that beyond that you can identify that that vehicle is the legitimate vehicle for that plate."

The DVLA is considering forcing all the UK's 1.3 million motorcycles to be fitted with plates featuring electronic tags, which are currently being trialled.

The AA's Paul Watters said the number of cloned number plates was "growing fast".

"It seems to be on a roll and we need to start taking some action to look at the innocent motorist who may fall victim to some of the issues which follow up the theft of a number plate," he said.

"There are different levels of cloning. There is the simple cloning, just stealing a plate to drive into say the Congestion Charge zone or evade a speed camera.

"It ranges up to a higher level which is the car criminal who wants to sell on a stolen car."

Tony Bullock's car was cloned even though his plates were not physically stolen, and he was threatened with prosecution after "his" car was repeatedly caught speeding in Leicester.

He said: "It was horrendous. You are guilty until you can prove you're not. It's the first time that I've thought that English law is on its head."

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Glen Smyth said the problem has grown because of the amount of camera-based enforcement of traffic offences, which relies on computer records on who owns which car.

A spokeswoman for the DVLA said it had introduced a standard for theft-resistant number plates, as well as having trialled microchip technology to combat cloning.

She added: "The DVLA also regularly works alongside the police to support anti-vehicle crime operations."

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