In the night of December 18 to 19, 2017, both license plates of a Fiat 500 are stolen. The following morning, a person with a bag in the shape and size of a license plate enters a company in Purmerend. The suspect and a co-suspect then enter the workshop, after which the co-suspect prints a duplicate code on the license plate. All this under the watchful eye of the suspect. According to the RDW, new license plates with a duplicate code were issued by a recognized company the same day after the number plates were stolen.
The Defendant states before the Court that it was purely coincidental that he was there at that time. The Court considers this statement to be implausible. The suspect and co-suspect were only present in the license plate factory for fifteen minutes, during which time the duplicate codes were printed on the plates in their presence. The Court does not consider any other reason for their presence plausible.
According to the Court, the suspect must have known that the license plates came from theft when he received them. The suspect pleaded guilty to fraudulent license plates and possessing counterfeit license plates. The latter can be regarded as forgery. The circuit of theft is maintained by receiving stolen goods and not only causes financial damage, but also inconvenience to the owners. In addition, the use of forged number plates is often related to covering up (other) criminal offenses and the use of such plates has a disruptive effect on the identification of vehicles in traffic.
A community service of 100 hours is considered appropriate by the Court, but due to the passage of time, the Court grants a “discount” of 20 hours. Read the full statement here . The co-defendant was given a suspended prison sentence of 3 months with a probationary period of 3 years and community service of 200 hours. His sentence was higher because he also had illegal possession of weapons. His verdict can be read here .
Source: The Judiciary - https://uitspraken.rechtspraak.nl/#!/details?id=ECLI:NL:GHAMS:2023:1949
Explanation of the VbV on the court ruling
Although the intention of the suspects would have been to steal a comparable car at a later date using the forged license plates, the suspect cannot be convicted of this preparatory act. This is only possible if it concerns a crime punishable by a prison sentence of eight years or more.