Montpellier: Number plate thieves are on the rampage in residential garages

Montpellier: Number plate thieves are on the rampage in residential garages

Two of the five cars at Millénaire had their number plates removed (© Metropolitan)

Five car owners parked in adjacent pits in the sprawling area underground garage one residence the Millénaire district, Montpellier he just had an unpleasant surprise early in the morning: during the night, one or more strangers stole the front and rear license plates. Unusual thefts, never made public, but actually on the rise in Hérault.


“We slept over the boxes and didn’t hear anything, yet the thieves used a specialized device to unscrew ten license plates and left with them,” said one of the victims who filed complaint against X at the central police station in Montpellier. Like the other four residents, he lives in Clos Saint-Roch, allée Volta, a stone’s throw from the Dell roundabout. The question that worries the owners of these targeted vehicles, however, remains the nighttime intrusion of a thief or thieves: “The entrance to the underground garages of the six buildings was closed and was not broken into. You need a pass to get in and out, as well as to open the door to escape up the stairs and elevator.” And wondering: “The thief obviously had the new remote control distributed to the residents last summer. How did he get it?”. Secret.

“We don’t dare to imagine that the people who removed the license plates from the five cars are the residents of the buildings,” says one of them, noting that the closed boxes have already been robbed at night and that for the past few months, the outdoor parking lot has been occupied by transients who especially they leave nitrous oxide canisters and balloons, after inhaling the mixed gas.

Fraudulent use

Theft of license plates is an act by which a person steals vehicle plates that do not belong to him, in order to use them fraudulently. ” Theft must be distinguished from usurpation, which consists in reproducing the existing plates that will be affixed to a similar vehicle. The purpose is the same, but the process is different,” explains the national police officer.

A bad surprise for the owner of this car in the Millénaire
A bad surprise for the owner of this car in the Millénaire (© Metropolitan)

Fix your plates

When you notice the theft of your license plates, the first step is to file a complaint with the gendarmerie brigade or the police station. The process should be done as soon as possible., to avoid any unpleasant surprises. To file a complaint, you must go directly to the website. To save time, you can anticipate and file a preliminary complaint online. After this dematerialized procedure, the gendarmerie or local police services will tell you the date and time of the meeting. They then have the necessary information during your meeting. After filing a complaint, you will be issued a receipt that will allow you to redo your number plate.

The second step is to request the production of his license plates
In case of usurpation of tables, it is necessary to apply for a new registration. On the other hand, you cannot get a new registration number as part of a theft. In fact, you will need to ask a professional to make your identical boards.

Be aware that you are not allowed to drive without license plates. In the event of a police check, you are subject to a fine of €135. If it is paid within 15 days (after detection of an offense or sending a notification to the residence), the amount of the fine is reduced to €90. After that, if you pay after a period of 45 days, it will be increased to €375. If you go to court, the judge can draw up a report for you, the maximum amount of which can be up to €750.

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Why are records stolen?

It seems teams specialized in this operation are increasingly rampant in the theft of license plates, in garages in the basements of residences, in isolated parking lots immersed in darkness and in public ones. Why are license plates stolen? “Simply because it’s the best way to identify a vehicle in the event of an infringement. With fake license plates, car thieves can actually speed and commit crimes without having to worry about possible penalties,” says the police officer. The statement that the Millennium Thief or Thieves took ten license plates confirms an act on command.

drug dealers and tobacco smuggling, gangs of bank robbers and other night-time raiding outfits resort to small-time criminals to operate with real fake license plates and miss out on police and gendarmes.

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