To reduce license plate theft and increase stolen vehicle detectability, the Chestermere RCMP are introducing a Security Screw Program for residents.
“License plate theft has been an ongoing problem in Chestermere. In response, this program was created as part of our overall crime reduction strategy to protect our residents from becoming victims of crime,” said Staff Sergeant Mark Wielgosz.
The Chestermere RCMP have made security screw fasteners that are available to residents free of charge.
Residents can have a security screw fastener installed or removed when no longer needed at participating locations, including the Chestermere RCMP detachment, Chestermere Fire Services, Tire Craft, Chestermere Lake Registry, and Jiffy Lube.
“The security screw is supplied by a loss prevention company with a proprietary bit. These bits are not available for purchase at retail stores,” Wielgosz said.
“Once installed, property criminals will have difficulty removing a license plate without detection or causing noticeable damage to the license plate. Most of whom will likely move on,” he said.
The license plates from similar makes and models of vehicles are frequently stolen throughout the province, in order to avoid detection from the RCMP.
“Not only does this pose a risk to the public and police, but it comes at a cost to unsuspecting vehicle owners,” Wielgosz said.
“During this period, more crimes are committed. More concerning is the risk to public and police safety when dealing with auto thieves who use stolen plates to avoid detection,” Wielgosz said.
Adding, “Replacing license plates is inconvenient, it comes at an added cost, and can be embarrassing if noticed when pulled over by police.”
When a vehicle is reported stolen, characteristics such as VIN and license plate numbers are added to a national database that is accessible to law enforcement, which enables police to determine whether a vehicle is stolen or not, and who the owner is.
In 2017, over 24,000 vehicles were stolen in Alberta, which represented 29 per cent of all stolen vehicles across Canada. On average, 68 vehicles were stolen every day.
In 2019 there were 9,900 vehicles stolen in RCMP jurisdictions.
Thieves will often export or sell high-end vehicles abroad, the VIN’s attached to the vehicle will be altered and re-sold domestically, some vehicles are dismantled and sold in parts, or the vehicles are used to commit other crimes.
For more information on the Security Screw Program, please visit the City of Chestermere website at https://www.chestermere.ca/202/RCMP.