Two Wyndham postcodes have recorded some of the highest levels of number plate theft in the state.
According to the Crime Statistics Agency, there were 334 reported number plate thefts within the 3029 postcode (which covers Hoppers Crossing, Tarneit and Truganina), from April last year to March this year.
These figures place the 3029 postcode at fourth-highest in the state for number plate thefts during the timeframe.
The 3030 postcode (Werribee, Werribee South, Point Cook, Quandong and Derrimut) recorded 289 number plate thefts, putting it ninth-highest in the state for the same time.
The 3175 postcode (which covers the Dandenong area) was the highest in the state with 375 recorded number plate thefts.
In comparison, there were 116 number plate thefts in the 3028 postcode (Laverton and Altona Meadows), 64 in the 3024 postcode (Mambourin, Wyndham Vale, Mount Cottrell and Manor Lakes), 36 in the 3026 postcode (Laverton North), 34 in from the 3027 postcode (Williams Landing) and just six in the 3211 postcode (Little River).
Wyndham police Inspector Marty Allison said across the state almost a third of all thefts involving vehicles were number plates thefts.
“Theft of and from motor vehicle crimes have been a key focus for us over the past few years,” Inspector Allison said.
“Targeted operations to address high-volume crime in Wyndham have led to significant reductions in overall theft.
“We have been targeting hot spots and recidivist offenders and ensuring our crime scene units prioritise vehicle crime so that we can quickly identify offenders.”
Inspector Allison said numberplate theft was a serious crime which can often lead to further offending such as ram raids, petrol drive-offs, toll evasion and joy-riding.
“If we can make it as hard as possible for number plates to be stolen, we’d be making a dent in a number of crime categories,” he said.
Inspector Allison said to help prevent number plate thefts, motorists could fit one-way screws or attend a “Safe Plate” day to have the screws fitted for free.