Dorothy, who did not want her last name published, said she was shocked to notice her licence plates had been taken one afternoon after going to a northern suburbs gym and shopping centre.
‘I noticed that they had been stolen once I got home,’ she said.
‘I went to check the letterbox and happened to see my rear number plate wasn’t there and then I raced around the front of the car and saw that one had gone too.
‘I was lucky I checked the letterbox because I wouldn’t have noticed until the next day because you don’t look at your car once parked in the garage.’
The 75-year-old said she reported it to police straight away and was told officers found her licence plates in a storm water drain in Malaga.
‘Police said whoever stole the plates used them to steal petrol,’ she said.
‘I’m warning other people to be aware and get the proper screws to secure their number plates to prevent them from being stolen.’
Warwick police station officer-in-charge Senior Sergeant Ken Walker said the theft of vehicle number plates was a concern for police, which provided people with screws that prevented plates being stolen.
‘People steal number plates for a number of reasons,’ he said.
‘It can be so someone can drive without a licence or drive through speed cameras and red light cameras and not be concerned about getting caught because they’re driving with someone else’s number plate.
‘Career criminals will steal a registration plate to match a particular type of vehicle that they’ve stolen or their own vehicle so they can go out and commit more serious offences with a reduced risk of being caught.
‘There is a connectivity between other forms of crimes and stolen registration plates which is why WA Police and crime prevention programs are in place to try to prevent the theft of plates.’