(KMOV.com) -- Thieves are known to take tags off license plates, now police said there’s a problem with stolen plates.
License plate thefts occur in Eureka, Mo., up to a couple of times each week, according to police lieutenant Dave Wilson. About half of the thefts aren’t reported to police, Wilson estimated.
Wilson said it’s a crime that happens across the St. Louis metropolitan area.
The trend is a surprise to some drivers in West County.
“I didn’t even think that was like an issue at all,” said resident Sasha Rife.
Authorities said this kind of crime spikes during the summer months. The thieves target unsecure parking lots at apartments, even secure lots at big box stores. There was recently a report of a bold plate theft in the parking lot of Six Flags in Eureka.
If your plate is stolen, call police. They’ll store the plate number in a database and police can use it to catch the criminal who got away.
“I just got to be more careful,” said driver Hector Hernandez.
To protect your plates, there are “anti-theft” bolts that require a special wrench, making them more difficult to steal. They cost about $6 at most local auto part stores.