How to Avoid Car Plate Theft
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Car number plate theft has been on the rise because criminals can no longer get away with fake number plates. With technology getting better, police and other authorities are able to find and confirm the legitimacy or plates quickly and more accurately. A better option, instead, is to steal car number plates.
Criminals often target cars with a similar make and model to conceal their identities and avoid getting caught as they go on their crime-free.
Some criminals steal license plates because:
- They don’t have a valid license
- They are driving a stolen car
- They want to avoid detection and pin the blame on someone else
- They want to clone your license plate with the intention of redirecting the repercussions of crime committed to you
The worst part about this crime is that it can happen anywhere – from public parking lots and malls to your local street and even your own driveway.
If you’ve been a victim of number plate theft, you may get a surprise speeding fine or have a cop knocking waiting to arrest you for a crime you didn’t commit. There have been cases where criminals have managed to dodge taxes and insurance due to the stolen car plates. This also makes it easier for them to avoid detection from number plate recognition software on police cameras.
It may cost a lot if you’ve been a victim of car number plate theft, not to mention the stress of not knowing what to do.
This is why it is important to prevent car number plate thefts from occurring in the first place.
Securing the Plates
The police recommend fitting one-way screws to secure car number plates because they have proven to be the best defense against criminals. Compared to one-way screws, regular screws can be easily removed in a matter of minutes. More importantly, one-way anti-theft screws are tamper-proof and won’t come off once installed, unless you hire a local mechanic.
The best part is that one-way screws are readily available at your local hardware store and only cost a few dollars. You can fit a one-way screw yourself using a standard flat screwdriver in a matter of minutes.
Hire Your Number Plates When Posting Car Photos
It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when it takes only a few seconds to blur a number plate using photo editors. You can cover, pixelate, or cover your number plate before posting your car’s photo online. This will eliminate the risk of criminals browsing websites to find cars that match the make and model of their own car.
The standard modus operandi for criminals is to browse vehicle sales and clone the number plates.
So how can you blur car plates quickly and effortlessly? You don’t need to purchase high-end software because there are plenty of online sites that let you work on an image without installing anything. Online editing is relatively simple and quick – this makes it worth doing before posting any photos of your car online for the entire world to see. Alternatively, your phone’s photo editor can also do the trick.
Try to Park in Safe Areas
If possible, try to park in a locked garage that no one can get in without authorization. Alternatively, you can park your car in the driveway rather than on the public street. Most thieves want to avoid confrontation and seek easy victims. This is why you should avoid public parking spots, especially if it’s dark.
If you must park in a public space, pick areas with high traffic. This will increase the risk that others will detect offenders.
What to do if the Car Number Plate is Stolen
If you find that your car number plate is lost, you should inform the police right away. Once authorities are aware of a theft, they can initiate efforts to return the plates to you. If they can’t, at least there’s a chance you won’t receive incorrect fines.
In case you’ve received a fine, you should return it with a letter containing proof of your situation – unfortunately, the burden of proof is on you. Try to collect as much evidence as possible, including CCTV footage, the last known location of your car, etc.
It’s worth noting that in some cases, it may not be possible to return your number plates to you. If this happens to you, it’s better to buy new ones from vendors selling number plates online. Note that it’s illegal to drive without number plates, so you will have to get new ones anyway. Fortunately, custom number plates are easy to buy and affordable.