Success stories


Kent Police at Sheerness Docks contacted us to enquire about a Mercedes Sprinter Van that was ready to be shipped abroad with no registration plate or VIN. The officer gave us the code etched into the catalytic converter and we were able to confirm that the vehicle was not showing as stolen on the PNC.


We received a call yesterday from a Greater Manchester Police officer regarding a Fiat Punto that had crashed and been abandoned. He gave us the etch code on the windows and we provided him with the VRM and VIN and confirmed that the vehicle had been reported stolen on the 1st September this year.


An Officer from the Metropolitan Police called us having stopped a suspected stolen vehicle. The driver had told him the vehicle had been stolen but that it had been recovered. Our operator was able to confirm to the caller that the vehicle’s PNC status was still showing as having been stolen in Nov 2013 and that no recovery notice had been received.


A call was received from a member of the public to say a bicycle had been found in a woodland area of Portsmouth. Contact details of the caller were recorded on the ISR and our operator left a message on the registered owner’s mobile phone asking her to give us a call. In the meantime, the person who had contacted us took the cycle home for safe-keeping.
We made a follow up call to the owner the following morning. She said the cycle had been stolen from her 1st floor balcony a few days before. She was delighted it had been found as she had not expected to see it again. Contact details of the finder were given (with his permission) so she could arrange to collect the cycle.


An Officer from West Midlands Police carrying out checks in a breakers yard discovered two vehicle parts marked with ISR Etch Codes. One was a piece of glass, identified on the Register as being from a Renault with no police interest showing in the record. The second part was a catalytic converter. Our operator identified this as being from a Mercedes Sprinter, flagged on the ISR as being PNC stolen. Subsequently, the Officer found in a waste bin the discarded ISR customer contact card printed with the same etch code that was marked on the CAT. The officer was provided with the Sprinter’s VIN and registration number.


Following our recent success in identifying a stolen Renault van found to be on false plates in Merseyside, we have provided the correct details of a Toyota, stopped by the same police officer, which also turned out to have been stolen and on false plates.


An Officer from Merseyside stopped a Renault Van he suspected of being on false plates. Our operator was able to confirm his suspicion by entering the etch code into the ISR which brought up the registration number and VIN of a vehicle showing as stolen on the PNC.


An officer from Bedfordshire Police called to enquire about a SAAB that had been left abandoned without number plates and had been issued with parking tickets. The etch code on the windows brought up the original record and as the officer was already registered with us, our operator provided him with the VIN and Registration number and confirmed there was no PNC interest in the vehicle.


An officer from Staffordshire Police called on Saturday to enquire about a Renault that had been left abandoned without number plates. The etch code on the windows brought up the original record for a Renault Scenic. As the Police Officer was not yet registered with us, the ISR operator followed our secure protocols and called him back via 101. He was provided with the VIN and Registration number and confirmation that there was no PNC interest in the vehicle.


A request for a new key was submitted by a dealer via our security desk service. The vehicle record had a PNC Stolen flag against it which resulted in the request being routed to the security desk supervisor. When the dealer was informed there would be a delay in responding to the request, he said he was aware the vehicle had been stolen but that it had now been recovered and the owner wanted the keys changed. We explained we had to wait for the recovery to appear on the PNC file which it did the following day enabling the key request to be cleared for processing.


The ISR received a call from the London Taxi lost property section to say a laptop had been left in the back of a cab. The company registered on the ISR as the owner of the asset was contacted to confirm its status. It transpired that the user had not reported it missing; the company was very relieved when it was returned to them as it held confidential financial information.


A Met Police Officer stopped a vehicle on personalised plates. He called the ISR and quoted the code etched into the windows the record for which had a PNC stolen status. Once the Officer’s credentials had been verified, the Officer was provided with the true identity of the vehicle. He confirmed to our operator that the vehicle would be taken to a police storage compound.


A home owner in Hampshire called the ISR to say she had found a bicycle dumped in her garden and asked if we could provide her with details of the owner. The ISR operator took her address and contact details and called the registered owner to let her know the cycle had been found. The owner was asked to report the theft to the police to enable them to take charge of the case. Subsequently, the ISR supplied the officer concerned with all the relevant information and the cycle was returned to the owner.


An Officer from Hampshire Police stopped a person he suspected was riding a stolen bicycle. A search of the ISR confirmed the cycle had been reported stolen. Once the Officer’s credentials had been verified, he was given the contact details for the registered owner. The Officer confirmed he was taking the cycle and rider to the police station.


An Officer from Norfolk Police called at 05:39 today to check the identity of a Fiat Punto he thought may have been cloned. Our operator checked the etch code on the ISR and confirmed it did not match the details provided by the officer.

The vehicle which was the subject of the phone call was therefore confirmed to be a clone and the registration plate number and VIN for the original (cloned) vehicle, recorded on the PNC as having been stolen, were given to the officer.


Police from Cumbernauld, South Wales and Essex received help from the ISR during the first week in April.
The officer from Cumbernauld called about a vehicle recently involved in a number of crimes. He gave our operator the security code etched into the vehicle windows and this opened up the record for a stolen vehicle. The operator was able to provide the correct registration plate number and to confirm that the plate on the vehicle was false.

The call from South Wales concerned a Saab Convertible stopped by an officer because he suspected it of having been stolen. He had noticed our code and phone number on the windscreen and thought it would be worth checking to see if we had a record of the vehicle. Our operator confirmed it had been reported stolen, enabling the officer to apprehend the driver and report the recovery on the Police National Computer.
The query from Essex police was about a white Fiat 500 which our operator confirmed had been recorded as stolen. The officer also provided the vehicle identification number on a plate he found loose inside the vehicle. This brought up the record for a red Fiat 500 for which our operator confirmed no stolen report had been recorded. It is our assumption that the plate had been produced fraudulently by the thief with the intention of cloning a vehicle.


Iveco UK marked the windows and major parts of all their UK trucks from new from 2009 to the end of November 2014. During that time their theft rate reduced by 67% and recovery improved by 36.6%. Iveco won a Thatcham award for this initiative. Iveco UK dealers continue to protect the vehicles they sell in this way and another truck manufacturer is to introduce the system with their trucks in a few months’ time.

The main objective of our marking and registration system - which includes a 24/7 verification service - is to deter and detect theft and cloning of vehicles and as can be seen from the Iveco success, it has an excellent track record for achieving this. The system will not, of course, stop the theft of valuable goods from trucks. However, our business partner, Applied DNA Sciences, can provide a range of revolutionary solutions to combat this ever increasing, very serious crime.


The owner of a 2007 Lexus IS 250 who lives in Norfolk called us to say he had recently received a spate of parking tickets for places he had not visited. He had noticed that although the number plate on the vehicle in the parking ticket photo was the same as the plate on his vehicle, the etch code on the windows was different. A check on the ISR of the code in the photo brought up the record for a 2006 Lexus IS 250 (2006) that had been reported to police as having been stolen on the 15th May 2014.
The caller told our operator that the vehicle had been caught on CCTV several times on a housing estate in South London. He was delighted that our system had solved the problem and said he would let the police know they were dealing with a cloned vehicle and that we could confirm to them its true identity.


A Police Officer who had found an abandoned cycle close to the scene of an accident, noticed the Retainagroup security marking and called the ISR. The operator followed the usual identification procedures and was able to help contact the owner.
A follow-up call the following day confirmed that the cycle had been stolen an hour before the accident and has now been returned to the owner. The officer had not used the system before but said that he will in the future.


A premium brand cycle was handed in to Police at Chichester. After finding our security code and the 24/7 telephone number of the ISR etched onto the bike frame, he decided to give as a call.
We were able to identify the owner immediately and assist in returning the cycle. The owner was thrilled to know that her valuable cycle had been found and returned. The Officer said that if it had not been security marked by Retainagroup it would have gone to auction.


Merseyside Police found a key to a Mazda in a stolen Ford they were investigating. Ambersett Consultancy supplied us with the date of manufacture and the blade number of the key and this enabled us to provide the police with details of the vehicle, which was flagged on the ISR as having been reported stolen in September this year.
Police then searched the area where they had discovered the key and found the stolen Mazda. As a result of our service, it is now shown on the Police National Computer as having been recovered.


An officer with Merseyside Police called the ISR 24/7 telephone number to check the code etched into a catalytic converter (CAT). Our operator was able to advise him that the vehicle had been showing as stolen on the Police National Computer since 10/09/12.
Using the etch code on the CAT our operator brought up the ISR record showing the original VIN and registration plate number for the vehicle. This information enabled the officer to identify immediately that it had been cloned. He said "the ability to do this at the scene would aid any challenge that might be made in the future regarding identification in a subsequent defence."


At 04:00 the ISR received a call from the Garda Police asking for help to identify a bicycle protected with our system. The cycle had been stolen in August and our operator was able to provide the police with details to enable them to return it to the owner.


A police officer who makes regular use of our service, called to say that whilst searching for a gun following a major incident, he had discovered instead various vehicle parts. One of these was a door, with our etch code on the window.
The code brought up the record for a PNC stolen Fiat Punto, details of which our operator gave to the officer. His response was "You never fail to deliver."

Stolen cycle returned to its owner

A resident of Jersey called to say he had found a cycle marked with our code and phone number, dumped in a field. Our operator phoned the registered owner who said the cycle had been stolen a couple of months ago.
The gentleman who had found the cycle gave permission for his contact details to be passed to the owner who was delighted with our service.

Cloned Toyota Yaris quickly identified by etch code

Police spotted a Toyota Yaris with an out of date tax disc. The PNC did not show the registration number as being from a stolen vehicle and because the vehicle was locked, the officer could not check the VIN. He called the ISR and the etch code brought up the vehicle record with the original registration plate number. This had been replaced with a plate for a number from an identical Toyota that was also registered on the ISR.
Without our system, the fact that the vehicle had been stolen would not have been discovered. The officer said that once again our system had provided him with a quick answer and had saved him a lot of hassle.

Attempted model change identified

The ISR received a call from a Kent County Constabulary Vehicle Examiner. He was in a yard in Dartford looking at a number of vehicles and parts of vehicles. By comparing the codes etched into the windows of one vehicle, we were able to ascertain that an attempt had been made to assemble parts from two stolen Fiat 500s to make up a new Abarth.
We were able to provide VIN and Registration Number information, and PNC reference numbers. Without this information, it would have been impossible for the investigators to identify that the parts came from stolen vehicles, and a successful prosecution would have been unlikely.

Stolen Toyota identified in private garden!

The ISR received a call from West Midlands Police Stolen Vehicle Squad. They had discovered a car door in a garden in a suburb of Birmingham. There was no sign of the rest of the vehicle, but the code etched into the door window was enough to identify the door as coming from a Toyota that had been stolen four years ago in Solihull. We were able to provide VIN and Registration information, together with the PNC reference number.
The owner of the garden was being interviewed by the police. Without the code etched into the door window, it would not have been possible to prove that the door had come from a stolen vehicle.

Two Stolen Renaults identified

A call came in from Dorset Police who had discovered many unidentifiable vehicle parts, when executing a warrant on a farm. They noticed our code and phone number on a vehicle door, and not having previously heard of our service, telephoned on the off chance that we could help.
The code brought up the record for a PNC stolen Renault Espace for which we were able to provide the VIN and registration plate number. The police constable was surprised and delighted as he had thought they would never be able to identify any of the parts. A short time later, the PC called again and said they had found another door. This time we were able to identify a PNC Stolen Renault Clio and he commented that "it is very clever of Renault to use such a good security system on their vehicles."

Stolen 2006 Skoda Fabia identified through parts

While executing a warrant at a breakers yard as part of an enquiry into organized vehicle crime, a police officer from West Mercia Police found a number of Skoda parts.
Fortunately, one of the parts was a door with our etch code and 24/7 phone number still intact on the window. The officer called us and we gave him the correct plate number and VIN and advised him that the vehicle was on the PNC as having been stolen. The officer said that without code and our service, they would have been unable to identify the vehicle. He said to expect more calls, as the police have 20 warrants for this particular breakers yard.

Security marking deters thief from stealing Catalytic Converter

The ISR received a call from a customer to let us know his catalytic converter had been stolen. At the time he called, he had not reported the crime to the police and he was therefore asked to phone back with a crime/incident number.
About 90 minutes later the customer called again to say a mechanic had inspected his vehicle and the CAT had not been removed after all. It had been slightly damaged but our marking system was still intact. The customer asked for it to be noted that he believes it was our system that deterred the thief from stealing the CAT.

Stolen Skoda and Toyota identified from spare parts

As part of an ongoing operation, Derbyshire police were searching through 900 car parts when they found a door with the window marked with our code and phone number. They had no idea from what type of vehicle it was from and when they phoned us with the code it brought up the ISR record for a 'PNC stolen' Skoda Octavia. We were also able to provide the engine number which enabled the examiner to match the correct engine to the car.
The same examiner called a second time having found another door with our etching on the window. This code brought up the record for a stolen Toyota. The examiner said he would not have been able to identify the two cars without our help. He said he wished all vehicles had security etching on them as it would be of great help to police. He said that now he is aware of our service it will enable him to identify many more parts from stolen vehicles.

A great result with a Stolen 2004 Skoda Octavia

An officer from Greater Manchester police found a Skoda displaying false plates which had been stolen from a Skoda dealership. The officer said the car had possibly been used in a robbery. The VIN number had been covered up and all but one of the windows had been replaced. Fortunately, the remaining window was etched with our security code and 24/7 telephone number. When the code was entered into the ISR it brought up the record for a stolen vehicle.
The car was locked and the officer said that without our service there was no way he would have been able to identify the vehicle.

Stolen catalytic converter identified

A police officer from Surrey police discovered 3 catalytic converters, on a grass verge in Shepperton. One was marked with our security code and the 24/7 phone number of the ISR, so he gave us a call. The ISR operator explained our system and how it can help police as the officer had not used our service before.
The operator called the officer back to verify his credentials and then provided him with details of the vehicle from which the 'cat' had been stolen - a Mercedes Sprinter van - together with the owner's name and address details. The officer was incredibly pleased with our service and said he would "use us again and again".

Lexus IS220 on false registration and vin plates!

Officer Alan Orr, of Stirling Police, noticed a suspect vehicle on a driveway, he called us with the unique etch code from the windows, the code brought up a PNC Stolen vehicle. It had false registration and VIN plates. We supplied the officer with the correct vehicle details and he said that without our help they would probably not have been able to identify the car.
The PNC record was updated to show the car had been recovered.

Alfa Romeo on false plates!

A Detective Constable from the Met was looking at a vehicle he suspected had been stolen. It was not listed on the Police National Computer so he called the ISR with the etch code. The operator immediately provided the vehicle's original registration number which proved that it was being driven on false plates.
Our system once again enabled police to save a significant amount of time and trouble in solving a crime. Without our help they would have had to complete lengthy paperwork and the vehicle would almost certainly still be showing as stolen on the PNC.

Skoda Fabia on false plates and visible VIN covered!

The following is a quote to an ISR operator by an officer from West Midlands Police Stolen Vehicle Team: "Your assistance regarding the identity of this vehicle was very important to me .The vehicle was recovered on false plates and the visible VIN had been covered by a parking ticket. From the ID on the window glass, we identified the vehicle within minutes and it saved the cost to Police and the insurer/vehicle owner of a locksmith attending the scene".
"Hopefully the owner or the insurance company can provide the Police with a spare set of keys, so forensics can be carried out more quickly without forceable entry and the possible destroying of vital evidence".

Ford and Retainagroup work together to identify stolen vehicle

The Head of Security at Ford contacted the ISR to try to identify a stolen car. He had the vehicle's radio and was aware of only three characters (out of 17) of the vehicle's VIN (Vehicle Identification Number). Despite this, a search of the ISR identified 24 possible vehicles. 6 of these vehicles had a PNC status of STOLEN and following further investigation with the supplying dealers, the correct vehicle was identified within 24 hours. The Head of Security described this as an excellent example of a partnership approach to solving vehicle crime.

Fast Identification of stolen bicycle!

A resident of Southsea in Hampshire found a bicycle that had been dumped in his garden. The bike was registered to Portsmouth Police and had been stolen only the day before.
The ISR operator contacted the police who were delighted and have arranged to collect the bicycle.

Stolen van identified in Ireland

The owner of a van bought in England took it to be re-registered in Ireland. When the V55 was checked it was found to be one of a hundred forms stolen from the DVLA. A PSV Inspector Nwas called in to investigate and found that some of the characters on the van's original VIN plate had been ground down and a false plate fixed over it.
After making several phone calls to England for more information, the Inspector came across our phone number on the windows and called us. He gave the etch code by which the van was identified as being stolen and on false plates. The ISR operator provided the Inspector with the original registration plate number and VIN for the van, together with contact details for the police force that had dealt with the original theft.

Vehicle parts identified

A call was received on the 18th November from a member of the AVCIS team who was at a location in Lancashire carrying out a search into various parts of vehicles. A search using the etch codes provided identified that a gear box and a door were from a SsangYong Rodius stolen in August 2007 and that another door was from a Renault Megane Cabriolet stolen in October 2007. The ISR operator was also able to confirm that a third door belonged to a Fiat Ulysse, and that there was no police interest in the vehicle.

Toyota Hi Lux

A police officer was checking a container due to be shipped out to Pakistan. He telephoned the ISR for a vehicle check and provided the etch code. This identified a PNC stolen Toyota Hi Lux on false plates.

The officer was delighted and said the car would have fetched a good price in Pakistan. He explained to the ISR operator that thieves used the shell of a stolen vehicle and the chassis of one that had been destroyed but had left the etched windows in place. He said this was a "nice little hit and a great result" and added that there would have been no way of identifying the vehicle without our security etch code. The officer confirmed that as a result of our help this totally unsafe vehicle would be destroyed.

Toyota Prius T Spirit

A police officer from Staines Police Station, called our phone number which he obtained from the etching on the windows of a Toyota Prius T Spirit. He had not heard of us previously but when the ISR operator explained the system and service to him he registered his details. Registration with the ISR allows him to receive information over the phone, to assist with solving vehicle crime at any time of the day or night.
The etch code matched the Toyota's VIN on the ISR but not the registration plate number. The officer was delighted with the service as it enabled him to quickly identify that the vehicle was on false plates, thus resolving an outstanding crime. As a result, the vehicle now appears on the Police National Computer as having been recovered.

SAAB 9.3 on false plates

Sussex Police had a call from AVCIS to say the DVLA had received part of a stolen log book for a Saab that had been purchased at auction by a Saab dealership. The DVLA gave the police officer the dealership contact information.
On checking the vehicle the officer discovered it was on false registration plates and telephoned the ISR with the etch code. This brought up the correct registration plate number and the fact that the vehicle was recorded on the PNC stolen file. The information was given to the officer who said the ISR's immediate confirmation of the Saab's true identity had saved him a lot of time and effort.

Lexus GS 300

A Detective Constable from the Flying Squad called regarding a Lexus that had been involved in an armed robbery on the 15th January. It was badly damaged having been driven into a cash machine. The vehicle was on false plates and the policeman needed to check its true identity.
The ISR operator checked the code etched into the windows and this brought up the record for a stolen Lexus that had been listed on the Police National Computer on the 10th January. The policeman was provided with the correct details for the vehicle and he said that as a result of our service they would be able to find out where the vehicle came from and it would greatly assist with their enquiries.

Stolen Mazda MX5 identified at Breakers Yard

A police officer from the Greater Manchester force, who uses our service on a regular basis to identify vehicles, called with the security etch code from a Mazda window whilst executing a Police Warrant at a yard that breaks vehicles into parts and sells them on Ebay.
The code brought up the record for a Mazda showing as stolen on the Police National Computer (PNC). The ISR operator supplied the vehicle details to the officer, including the PNC reference and force code for the area from which it had been reported stolen. He was particularly pleased because it was a Greater Manchester 'stolen event' and our system would enable him to report that the vehicle had been recovered.

Stolen Skoda identified

A Skoda was taken into a garage for repair and because the mechanic was worried about its identity he called Greater Manchester Police. The vehicle was taken to the local police compound and was looked at by an examiner who had used our service on previous occasions. He phoned the ISR with the etch code which brought up the record for a Skoda stolen some two months before.
The vehicle's plates and VIN had been changed and the examiner said that our ability to immediately provide the correct details had once again been a great time saver.

Toyota Land Cruiser theft identified

An officer from Greater Manchester Police was investigating a referral from the DVLA regarding a possible stolen V5. He was examining a suspect Toyota Land Cruiser and telephoned the ISR with the unique etch code. This brought up the record for a vehicle that had been reported stolen.
The ISR operator gave the officer the correct registration number, confirmed the correct VIN, and provided him with all the stolen report details. The officer said that as always our ability to respond immediately to his enquiry was very much appreciated.

A fantastic result for the Retainagroup system!

When three vehicle examiners from West Yorkshire police were executing a warrant at a breakers yard they had a phenomenal success in identifying no less than 35 stolen vehicles through our marking and registration system. One of the police officers involved in the investigation said he wished "every car manufacturer had their vehicles security etched, as it would make life so much easier for police".
The ISR operator who handled the enquiries said the officer was 'over the moon' with the number of vehicles identified as a result of our service. Most of the vehicles were Toyotas and others included Lexus, Skoda and Mazda vehicles.