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License plate protection

LAPLACE–While reports of license plate thefts are minimal in St. John Parish, Sheriff Mike Tregre reminds residents that this crime is not often noticed because many of us do not check our plates every day. He advises residents to regularly check their vehicles and confirm that all of their license plates are accounted for and report any missing or stolen plates immediately.

  Criminals may steal plates because they don’t have insurance, or they have a suspended license. Criminals also are adapting to license plate recognition cameras by stealing license plates and using these plates that have not been reported stolen by placing them on vehicles to commit crimes.

  Stealing of plates can happen anywhere — in parking lots, at the mall and even in a driveway. Most plates can simply be removed by using a coin.

To protect yourself, know your license plate number and check it often. Sheriff Tregre also strongly advises residents to buy special security screws that are difficult to remove with a coin or common screwdrivers.