Thefts Cars
Pennsylvania license plate Nanine Hartzenbusch/AP Photo

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge holds the new "Save Wild Animals" license plate at the Philadelphia Zoo's tiger exhibit, Thursday, April 11, 1996.

January 17, 2016

Police: Watch out for license plate thieves in Philly

Two incidents reported in River Wards

Police are asking residents in the River Wards section of Philadelphia to be on alert for license plate thieves.

Authorities say that criminals are taking the plates off of vehicles and replacing them with plates from other cars.

By using the same screws, frames and covers, it is often difficult to notice that your plate has been stolen, according to police.

Then, they'll attach your plate to a stolen vehicle that hasn't been reported missing yet and matches the make and model of your car.

Two incidents of stolen plates were reported Friday in the 24th and 26th districts. Police are asking residents to take the following precautions:

• Know your license plate number

• Keep a copy of your plate

• Immediately call 911 if you notice your plate has been stolen

• Replace your license plate screws with "tamper-resistant" screws (found online here)

Police note that the longer you fail to report a stolen plate, the greater the chances are that a criminal racks up parking tickets, EZ Pass violations and other traffic violations with your plate.