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Police catch petrol and plate thieves

Paul Easton

Last updated March 17 2015

Police have nabbed five people believed responsible for a cluster of 35petrol drive-offs and number plate thefts in Auckland. About 20 number plateswere stolen and the group has been charged over a number of petrol drive-offstotalling $1,158 worth of fuel. 

"This group used the stolen plates once or twice then disposed ofthem and replaced it with another stolen plate in an attempt to avoid detectionand identification," Counties Manukau police district preventionmanager inspector Bronwyn Marshall said. Three search warrants were conductedin Mangere earlier this month. Four people were arrested and one was referredto Youth Aid.

In 2014 there was a 21 per cent increase in stolen vehicle registrationplates in Counties Manukau.

Stolen plates may then be used for further crimes.

"While the majority of stolen or presumed stolen plates never cometo police attention in further offending, over the past twelve months we haveseen a 27 per cent increase in the number of stolen plates that have beenrecorded in subsequent offences," Marshall said. "This is still asmall number of offences, but crimes that are related to the theft of stolennumber plates include: theft of petrol (petrol drive-offs), avoidance oftraffic related fines or tolls and other types of crime such as shoplifting, burglaryor robbery."

Counties Manukau police and Community Patrols NZ have held several"Safer Plates" community days around the District to encouragemembers of the public to upgrade the screws on their number plates to make themtamper-proof. Tamper-proof screws cost $1 each. Number plate is one tool we canmake it more difficult for offender to get access to by using tamper-proofnumber plate screws," Marshall said.

SaferPlates is kindly supported with the help of Auckland Council,

Albert-EdenLocal Board Funding

Auckland Council

Albert-Eden Local Board

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