Car cloners on prowl, so watch out

A RISE in petrol prices will trigger a spike in the theft of numberplates in Monash, says Mount Waverley Sergeant Burnie Postma.

Sergeant Postma says about 20 numberplates are stolen every month in the city so the thieves can avoid paying for petrol, registration and tolls.

The stolen plates have also been used during burglaries and thefts.

Victims are often left in the lurch and have to change their details with insurance companies and toll providers.

To reduce the number of thefts, Victoria Police and local Neighbourhood Watch groups will be running Operation Safe Plate in Notting Hill and Waverley Gardens in the coming weeks.

The program, which has been running for more than a decade, helps drivers fix numberplates with one-way screws.

Sergeant Postma said thieves often tried to steal the numberplates as fast as possible.

"That's why the safe plate screws are a benefit because it delays them being able to steal a numberplate quickly."

He said thieves who were unable to unscrew the plates would move on or give up. "If we can make it harder for them to get the numberplates off, we're heading towards a benefit for all."

Operation Safe Plate will be held near Woolworths at the Waverley Gardens shopping centre on Police Road at 9.30am on Saturday.

Another session will be held at Bunnings Warehouse in Notting Hill on Ferntree Gully Road at 9am on Saturday, March 9.

Cost: Free or gold coin donation.

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