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Petrol price hike linked with car thefts
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15:25, April 15, 2008

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A crime report released on Tuesday revealed that high fuel prices were partly to blame for a spike in thefts from vehicles in NSW, with thieves using stolen registration plates to rip off petrol stations.

The New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOSCAR) released its 2007 crime statistics found there was a statewide increase in thefts from a motor vehicle, with the theft of registration plates accounting for a major portion of that statistic.

BOSCAR director Don Weatherburn said the number of vehicle break-ins in car parks between 2005/06 and 2006/07 rose 84 percent in inner Sydney and 77 percent during the same period in central western Sydney.

The majority of thefts from motor vehicles were "opportunistic crime", but vehicle registration plates were a particular target, according to the report.

"People are stealing motor vehicle plates for one reason - to commit other crimes," Weatherburn said.

"As the petrol prices go up, the number of thefts of number plates goes up with it and the number of petrol thefts jumps," he added.


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