Recently, News 4 started a new weekly report called the Neighborhood Crime Alert. Each Monday we focus on crime sprees and crime trends in neighborhoods. In our stories we'll pinpoint where the crimes are occurring to help alert residents and business owners in the area. And our stories will pass along advice from police about how to reduce your chances of becoming a crime victim.
Our most recent report shows focuses on thieves who are going around scraping off vehicle registration renewal stickers from license plates. They call them "tabs" in Missouri. Police tell us, in July, tabs were taken off cars in the 9400 block of Midland in the city of Overland and in the area of Laclede Station Road and Ravensridge Road in Shrewsbury.
Both Missouri and Illinois have taken steps to make the stickers harder to steal. The stickers have lines cut into them, which tends to make them shred when someone tries to peel them off. In Illinois, it's easy to check if a stolen sticker is being used, because it's printed with the license plate number of the car that it's assigned to. Police also suggest that you take a utility knife and score your tabs, which will cause it to come off in pieces. Or you could use a license plate cover to make it harder for thieves to get their hands on your license plate tabs. One News 4 viewer told me, after getting both his plates stolen, he built his own, clear license plate holder that locks. I don't know if the Missouri Department of Revenue is working on their own version, but they tell me that there are some new safety features they'll be rolling out soon. So, stay tuned.