MORE than 20 cars had their numberplates stolen in Bridlington in an overnight crime spree described as “extraordinary” by a local detective.
Det Insp Pete Francis is investigating 21 reported incidents of stolen numberplates, mainly in two areas of Bridlington – Havelock Crescent and Cambridge Street, overnight last Friday and into the early hours of Saturday morning.
Numberplates were also stolen from cars parked in Marshall Avenue, Travis Street and Brookland Road, and the cars targeted appear to be completely random.
Det Insp Francis said: “I have worked round Bridlington for many years and this is extraordinary, to have that amount of incidents in one night.
“CID are leading the investigation and neighbourhood response teams and all other agencies are working together trying to identify who is responsible for this.
“We need help and information from the public – I desperately want to know who is responsible – and from a victim’s perspective, we want everybody to know that we are doing what we can to identify who is responsible.”
It is not yet known whether the plates have been stolen as part of an organised crime outfit, or whether it is merely a foolish prank or a drunken challenge between youths.
But either way, police are keen to catch the culprits.
“There are victims in this who are suffering,” said Det Insp Francis.
“It’s the last thing you want to see happen to your car and it can be an inconvenient process sorting it all out because you need all your vehicle documentation to hand.
“We treat all kinds of vehicle theft seriously because among the public, it’s up there near the top in terms of crime concerns.
“If it is a foolish prank and somebody wants to come forward and tell us, they will be dealt with fairly.
“We would welcome anybody coming forward with any information at all that may lead us to identify who is responsible,” added Det Insp Francis.
Due to the sheer volume of thefts, it is likely that more than one person is responsible for the crime spree.
If anybody remembers seeing anybody acting suspicious around vehicles last Friday night or early Saturday morning, they are urged to contact police.
In addition, some of the numberplates were snapped whilst being removed.
Det Insp Francis urged Bridlington residents to keep their eyes open for discarded numberplates and to hand any they may find into police.
Anybody with any information about the thefts should contact Humberside Police on 0845 6060222.