Petrol thieves behind theft of car number plates in Birmingham

Petrol thieves are behind rising thefts of car number plates in Birmingham.

West Midlands Police have announced that more than 2,000 car number plates have been stolen from vehicles across the city in the past 12 months. The vast majority of the number plates were then used by thieves to disguise the true identity of their own cars when filling up with petrol, so they could drive off without paying.

Innocent motorists then face being questioned by police for a crime they havenít committed.

Now police are working with petrol stations using automatic number plate recognition technology (ANPR).

The technology, which scans car number plates and compares them to a database of cars linked to crime or reported stolen, will flag up to petrol station attendants if a car is suspect so they can refuse to arm the pump.

A police spokesman said the worst area for the theft of number plates is east of the city covered by Stechford police where more than 10 are stolen each week.

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