Published: Monday, September 17, 2018
A surge in number plate thefts has prompted calls for South Australian motorists to install free tamper-resistant screws. Words: Jeremy Rochow
More than 2380 plates were stolen from vehicles in SA during the last financial year, compared with about 2000 thefts in 2016-17 – an increase of about 15%
RAA motoring expert Mark Borlace urged SA motorists to install tamper-resistant screws to deter thieves.
“It’s staggering how many people still have their number plates stolen, despite the technology available that makes it harder for them to be pinched,” Mr Borlace said.
“Thieves will often use the stolen number plates when stealing petrol, conducting robberies or house break-ins, or to avoid speeding fines.”
Number plates stolen in SA in 2017/18
Mr Borlace said there were precautions motorists could take to discourage thieves from stealing their number plates.
“Firstly, motorists should secure number plates with tamper-resistant screws, and check regularly that they’re secure,” Mr Borlace said.
“You should also secure your vehicle in a locked garage if possible, or park it in a well-lit area.”
To help motorists avoid number plate theft, the SA Vehicle Theft Reduction Committee is running an initiative, with support from RAA and other stakeholders, to provide tamper-resistant screws to motorists free of charge.
To find out where your nearest participating approved repairer is located, contact RAA’s Technical Advisory Service on 8202 4689 or via email.
You’ll then be asked to contact the RAA Approved Repairer and make a booking to have the tamper-resistant screws installed.
It should only take a few minutes, but bookings are essential.
Number plates stolen in SA in 2016/17
Regional vehicle owners
Motorists living in regional areas with no nearby approved repairers can still get in touch with the RAA Technical Advisory Service, and a set of self-taping tamper-resistant screws can be mailed out.
The tamper-resistant screws are simple to install.
- Remove the screws currently holding the number plate in place.
- Using a flat-bladed screwdriver, install the screws.
- Tighten until firm, but don’t over-tighten them.
Tamper-resistant screws are also available for purchase from most hardware stores.
If your number plate is stolen, report it to SA Police immediately by calling the Police Assistance Line on 131 444.