SOARING fuel prices could be behind a spate of number plate thefts.
In the last fortnight several registration plates have been stolen across Hyndburn and police believe they are being used in petrol station drive-offs.
A number of thefts have been reported in the Baxenden area and community beat manager PC Clare Wall is advising car owners, especially in the Hollins Lane, Manchester Road and Henry Street areas, to be extra vigilant.
She said: "We have had three reported cases of car registration plate thefts as well as a theft from a van.
"There is obviously a scam going on in the area and I want to make sure people are aware of it and are safeguarding themselves as much as possible.
"If you see anyone acting suspiciously please call the police so we can do something about it."
The registration numbers on a blue Renault Clio were taken overnight last Wednesday from Sandy Lane, Accrington. The plates were later used on a dark blue Ford Mondeo at a petrol filling station on Burnley Road.
Sergeant Mick Johnson of Accrington Police said: "It could be linked to the increase in petrol prices.
"However, not every stolen number plate can be put down to drive-offs. We are still investigating."
Anyone with information can contact Accrington Police on 0845 125 3545.