GEORDIE COWAN  |  AUGUST 06, 2015 9:25AM

NUMBERPLATE thefts have more than doubled in Dandenong in the past year, and even cars parked in driveways are fair game for crooks, police have warned.

Inspector Bruce Kitchen said about 20 numberplates were being stolen every week in the Dandenong area — a hike of 50 per cent on last year.

Over the course of a year, more than 1000 numberplates could go missing and be used to conceal increasingly serious crimes, including ramraids, robberies and burglaries.

Thieves were cruising residential areas, stealing plates from cars parked in driveways and outside homes, he said.

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“A lot of them are being used in petrol drive-offs and other offences,” Insp Kitchen said.

“There is evidence to suggest that stolen numberplates have been put on stolen vehicles and used in robberies across our area and other areas.

“They use the plates and then ditch them pretty quickly.”

Insp Kitchen warned car owners must to do their bit to help crack down on the crime by using one-way screws, which required a special tool to be removed.

“I’d encourage people to use these one-way screws or even put on a bit of superglue with their normal screws,” he said.

Car owners could contact their police station for free antitheft one-way screws.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Extracted in full from: heraldsun.com.au