Police in Oadby and Wigston tackle number plate thefts
Residents in part of Leicestershire are being offered free anti-theft screws to stop thieves stealing number plates.
Leicestershire Police said they had noticed an increase in the number of number plate thefts in Oadby and Wigston over recent months.
The clutch-head screws are much more difficult to remove than standard screws found on most cars.
Det Sgt Stokes said replacing the screws was a good way of deterring number plate thieves.
"The theft of a number plate can be a huge inconvenience to a motorist," said Det Sgt Stokes.
"Once the number plates are stolen, they can also be used to disguise stolen vehicles or conceal the identity of vehicles used in criminal activity such as theft of petrol from forecourts."
Det Sgt Stokes asked drivers to report number plate thefts to police as soon as possible.