Police officers found a cloned car with the same number plate after cameras spotted another vehicle with identical registration at the same time.
The Toyota Prius was seized in Luton after a vehicle with the same plates was spotted in London.
Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit towed it in and inquiries are ongoing with the Metropolitan Police.
Police shared an image of one of the vehicles being towed in Luton on Twitter, BedfordshireLive reports.
The tweet, which was shared at 2.09am yesterday, read: “RP34 Luton – We located this suspected cloned vehicle after it was hitting cameras in Luton & London at the same time. Vehicle seized and enquires with @metpoliceuk ongoing 6461 / 1318 / 5811.”
It comes as data from the RAC published in early 2021 showed that 1,105 motorists contacted the DVLA in March 2020 to object that their vehicle had been wrongly linked to offences due to having their registration number plates cloned.
That figure was almost twice as many cases as the 656 seen in April 2019.
Cloning is a highly illegal practice often used by organised criminals to commit an offence that is later associated with another car.
If a legitimate car’s registration is placed on one of a similar make and model, the scam could also be used to avoid road tax, insurance and MOT costs.
In August, a public transport boss in Scotland was pictured driving an illegal cloned car on holiday, it was reported.
Gordon Maclennan, chief executive of Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT), had a VW Passat in his staff car park and another at his holiday home, the Sunday Mail reported.
Both with the same SF02 ORB registration.
The £153,000-a-year public sector director was pictured driving a cloned silver Passat at his retreat on the Isle of Lewis with his police officer son Stuart sitting in the passenger seat.
At the same time, an almost identical blue Passat car with the same registration was pictured at his office, 300 miles away in Glasgow city centre.
Public records show a blue version of the car is taxed and MOT-ed with the DVLA.