A former RAF serviceman from Northampton believes he has been the victim of a fraudsters after his number plates were taken from his car.
Peter Marshall, a former senior aircraftman, lives in Kingsley along with wife Maria, who he is carer for due to her vascular dementia.
He drove his Renault Laguna to a local shop last week and was surprised to notice on his return that the number plates were gone. Concluding that they must have been taken overnight, he then realised he had been unwittingly breaking the law all that morning by travelling with no plates.
The experience has left Peter disappointed with the thieves - who he believes took the plates so they could use them in a further crime in which their vehicle's true origin would be masked. Such crimes have become more common since the tax disc displaying registration numbers was scrapped.
He said: "I'm more or less a full-time carer and it's something we could quite do without.
"We don't have any enemies. quite the opposite. In fact we go out of our way to help other people."
To make matters worse, the theft was followed six days later by the driver's window on the car being shattered.
Peter - who, working for model makers Corgi in Northampton between 1961 to 1983, designed the ejector seat and other gizmos on the famous James Bond Aston Martin toy - had taken action to stop a repeat theft by capping the number plate screws. He believes the thieves had returned and tried unsuccessfully to steal the new plates.
He said: "Nothing was taken. They've had a go at the plates then got a bit frustrated."
The plates were stolen on Tuesday, May 14. The criminal damage happened overnight between Sunday, May 19 and Monday, May 20.
Anyone who has information is asked to contact Northamptonshire Police on 101. Information can also be shared anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.