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28 February 2008

Number plates stolen in Gdańsk

Went to Gdańsk for a lovely few days to see the Baltic coast. My wife and I had borrowed her father's car to make the trip. We parked it in the city centre and went for a meal one evening. I was quite suprised to come back and discover that someone had stolen our number plates.

Apparently this isn't such a rare occurence - because Polish number plates start with a 3 letter code that shows which region the owner lives in, it's easy to spot non-local vehicles. Thieves steal the plates to put on other cars so they can go and tank up on petrol without paying, or worse still, use their car for committing other crimes.

I wasn't expecting the trouble involved though at the Police station. First we had to sign a warning that we weren't allowed to drive the car on the road without replacement number plates, but to get the number plates we had to go to Opole (other end of the country) where the vehicle is registered.
Where's the sense in that? Or am I stupid for even bothering to ask?

Given that we would have been stranded if we'd have left the car we of course drove it back with the registration number written on bits of paper in the windows (something better than nothing I guess). After an uneventful journey on the terrible Polish roads we got back without any further hassle.

The final sting in the tail was that we had to pay out 300 złoty to get new number plates. I guess on the plus side it could have been worse - at least they didn't steal the car...

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