Prevent number plate thefts with one-way screws

L-R Leading Senior Constable Craig McDonald and Leading Senior Constable Matthew Bextream. Photo by Damjan Janevski.

There’s never been a better time to fit your car’s number plates with one-way screws.

That’s the word from crime prevention officer Craig McDonald, as number plate thefts account for half of all thefts from motor vehicles around Wyndham.

Leading Senior Constable McDonald said theft from cars was once again on the rise, with train station carparks across Wyndham – particularly Williams Landing, and Pacific Werribee – hot spots for this type of offence.

“It’s always going to happen around railway stations because people know that cars are there all day,” he said.

“The theft of number plates has got us scratching our heads.

“The most successful way to stop it is to fit one-way screws to number plates … and we want people to help themselves.

“They can go to Bunnings any time they want, and buy a pack of [one-way, anti-theft] screws, and do three or four cars in one go.”

There were 2050 thefts from cars recorded across Wyndham in the 12 months to March 30 this year, with most offences (507) occurring in Werribee, followed by Hoppers Crossing (386) and Point Cook (320).

Thefts from motor vehicles have increased steadily in recent years, with 1786 offences recorded in the 12 months to March 30 last year, and 1546 recorded in the year prior.

Leading Senior Constable McDonald said Operation Railwatch, a month-long crime prevention blitz at Wyndham train station car parks, had resulted in a dramatic drop in offences over winter, but offences are now picking up again.

He cautioned drivers to remove all valuables before locking up cars.

“Take a good look inside your car – leave nothing visible at all, no valuables … reduce your chances of becoming a victim.”

Police will fit one-way screws for a gold coin donation at Altona North Bunnings car park, corner Millers and Ross roads, Altona, on October 9, 10am–2pm.