Edmonton Police Proactive on Licence Plate Theft
EDMONTON – Crime – Stolen licence plates are an issue in Edmonton. Police state that up to thousands of sets of plates are stolen annually. “From January to June 2013, about 1100 licence plates have been reported stolen city-wide,” says Const. Jerrid Maze with Southwest Division. “You have the ability to prevent these thefts in just a matter of minutes. All you need to do is simply replace your screws with anti-theft screws that are available for free from your local police station.”
Thefts from motor vehicles are common crimes of opportunity that happen fast and at any time of the day. Through public education, citizens have become more aware of these types of crimes and are removing all valuables from their vehicles. However, licence plates are quickly becoming a commodity that criminals desire.
Criminals may use a stolen licence plate to disguise a stolen vehicle, to commit traffic violations or other crimes.
The licence plate screws are designed to allow anyone to use a screwdriver to put the plates on but require a specialized tool – only available to police and authorized partners – to be removed.
Free anti-theft license plate screws are available (in Edmonton) at your local police station.
Why are Licence Plates Targeted by Thieves?
Each year in Edmonton 3,000 to 4,000 plates are stolen. Thieves may use your plate for various reasons.
To disguise a stolen vehicle.
- Criminals may steal a vehicle and then steal a plate from a vehicle that resembles the stolen one. This way the licence plate will match the vehicle description.
- The car will go undetected as stolen until the owner realizes their plate has been stolen and files a report to police.
To commit other crimes.
- If a thief is looking to commit crimes that require a car, they sometimes steal a licence plate first.
- Criminals will then use the car to commit a crime. If a witness provides police with a licence plate number, it won’t connect them to the crime.
- These crimes can range from ‘gas and dashes’ to armed robberies.
To commit traffic violations.
- If a criminal is driving around with your licence plate on their car, they can commit traffic offences and maybe not get caught.
- If they speed, run red lights, or violate parking restrictions, fines may be mailed to you as the registered owner of the licence plate.
Follow these tips to decrease your chances of becoming a victim
Use anti-theft licence plate screws.
Park in well-lit areas.
Park in well-populated areas.
Keep the rear of your vehicle adjacent to driving lanes. (Don’t back in or pull through parking spots.)
Check your licence plate often.
Use anti-theft licence plate screws
Anti-theft license plate screws are designed to allow anyone to use a screwdriver to put the plates on with the screws, but require a specialized tool – only available to police and authorized partners – to remove the license plate screws.