Thieves target number plates

According to Wagga police, 10 separate registration plate thefts have been reported from the Lake Albert area in the past week.Owner of Wagga’s Autobarn, Wayne Gardiner, said a specially designed screw, which can be tightened onto a number plate and make removing the plate more difficult, has been selling steadily from his store.“It is a special hex-head screw which you need an allen key to get off,” he said.“We have been recommending them to our customers and sold a few in recent weeks.”Inspector Chris Hall from Wagga police said a reason for the increase in number plate theft is not known.“It is just a senseless act which is a huge imposition on the public,” Insp Hall said.However, in some cases across the state stolen number plates have been used during fuel drive-offs at petrol stations.The cost to replace a number plate varies in price with a white plate fetching $70 and a general issue yellow plate currently costing $35.Road and Traffic Authority (RTA) figures show that in 2007 approximately 11,000 NSW vehicle owners notified the RTA of the theft of one or both number plates.People should contact police immediately if their number plates are stolen and then visit their local RTA office to obtain a new set of plates.Anyone with information regarding the number plate thefts from the Lake Albert area are asked to contact Wagga police on 6921 0544 or Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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