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MOSCOW, September 9 (Itar-Tass) — Two men were apprehended in southern Moscow for stealing plates from foreigners’ vehicles. The thieves returned the plates to their owners for a fee, district police spokesperson Natalia Maltseva told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
“The detainees stole more than 100 plates, mostly from citizens of Belarus and Lithuania,” she said.
A woman told the police her car plates were stolen and a note with a phone number and a bank account number was pinned to the windshield. It appeared that the bank card was used regularly in ATM operations on Andropov Avenue.
“The police made an ambush and caught two men. They were carrying notes similar with the one found by the woman and the trunk of their car contained dozens of plates,” Maltseva said.
The detainees told the police they were robbing foreign drivers on brief visits to Moscow. “Most of the victims preferred to pay 5,000-10,000 rubles for quickly regaining their plates. According to rough estimates, the detainees made approximately 300,000 rubles over the past two weeks alone. They may be engaged in over 100 criminal episodes, in all,” Maltseva said.
Both men were arrested and charged with theft, she added.