A spate of stolen car number plates in the Pāpāmoa area has prompted a special anti-theft initiative aimed at putting the screws on brazen thieves.
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Pāpāmoa Community Patrol volunteers are working with local police to hold "Screw Day" this week, refitting number plates with special anti-theft screws for $2.
The event will be at Papamoa Plaza carpark from 10am to 2pm tomorrow.
Pāpāmoa Community Patrol committee member Zelda Sayers said once the number plates were refitted they could not be easily removed with standard tools.
Sayers, 76, said police and the Community Patrol were encouraging car owners to attend.
"The increasing prevalence of car registration plates being stolen in Pāpāmoa and around the country is concerning to the New Zealand police and our community.
"This small and inexpensive extra security measure can make a significant difference to whether your car is stolen or not."
Sayers said the initiative was aimed at eliminating these types of thefts, stopping thieves in their tracks and preventing people from becoming potential victims of other crimes.
"Stolen number plates can be used in all manner of crimes from petrol drive-offs to false plates put on stolen vehicles and aggravated robberies."
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"The screwed-down number plates will give car owners peace of mind," she said.
Screw Day was also a fundraiser for the Pāpāmoa Community Patrol to help cover patrol and fuel costs.
"Some of our patrol members work the day shift and others do the night shift which eats up a lot of fuel, including patrolling shopping centres and building sites.
Tina Kemp, Pāpāmoa Community Patrol's secretary, said about two months ago both number plates were stolen from her car while it was in the Pāpāmoa Plaza carpark.
"I'd been at a mid-morning gym session and I was brassed-off . . . Whoever stole them is so brazen as there were heaps of other people in the area at that time of day.
"Having these security screws fitted is important because you need a special tool to remove them, which you cannot buy," Kemp said.