POLICE in Ringwood are looking for a man who tried to steal number plates from a van.

Officers said the victim’s white Mercedes Vito was targeted between 5.30pm and 5.35pm on Thursday, January 17, in Broadshard Lane on Ringwood and Headlands Business Park.

They said the victim returned to his vehicle to find a man kneeling down at the front, fiddling with the number plate.

When confronted, the man said he had got his trouser leg caught on it and then walked off towards Southampton Road, getting into the passenger side of a black Honda Civic, which then sped away, narrowly avoiding a collision.

The victim discovered his rear number plate had been removed and found it leaning up against the hedge next to his van, suggesting the man had intended to steal both plates.

The culprit is described as white, late 20s to early 30s, unshaven with blond stubble, 5ft 7 inches tall, of slender/muscular build. He was wearing a tartan flat cap with green in it.

On the same day, 10 minutes later, police received the report of a theft of number plates from a silver Honda Civic parked outside the victim’s workplace on the Headlands Business Park. Police believe the incidents are connected and likely to have been committed by the same offenders.

Call PC Garvin Couch at Ringwood Police Station on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.