Mark Weis told News 4 he was shocked to find out he was driving around without any license plates on his car.
"I had no idea," said Weis. "No idea at all."
Weis said his plates were stolen and it took him too long to realize it.
"Probably a few weeks," said Weis. "We got a ticket sent to us."
St. Louis County Police said there's been nearly 40 cases of stolen plates at parking lots along Highway 55 in Affton and South County since the start of 2018.
"It doesn't take more than a few seconds to get those plates off," said Weis.
Officers told News 4 sometimes thieves steal license plates and replace them with other ones in an attempt to increase the time it takes victims to notice and report the theft.
"I'm really surprised, first time I've heard that out here," said David Yo.
Yo told News 4 he regularly parks his truck in commuter lots across South County and hardly ever checks his plates before heading home.
"I never check my license plate, except for once a year when I go pay for stickers," said Yo. "That's it."
"Keep an eye on it, you know?" said Weis. "Maybe check everyday or every few days and make sure the plates are on there and the stickers and stuff. That's all you can really do."
St. Louis County Police are asking people to memorize their license plate numbers and make checking the plates a regular habit.
If you do notice they aren't there or are incorrect, please contact the police to report it.
"Everybody beware, they'll do it," said Mark Weis