CRIME ALERT: License plates stolen off cars in Eau Claire

By: Aaron Dimick Email
By: Aaron Dimick Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -- It’s one of the most vulnerable pieces of your car, your license plate.

The Eau Claire Police Department said it’s looking into a recent spike of license plate thefts in the city.

Officer Kyle Roder said the department has received three reports of license plate theft in the past week.

He said the recent rash started Sunday on the north side of Eau Claire, when a man on the 3100 block of Runway Avenue told police one of his plates was stolen.

Jump to Thursday on the west side of the city, where a woman on the 1500 block of Greenfield Drive called police after her plate disappeared.

“One of them involved a portion of the license plate being clipped off for unknown reasons,” Roder said.

Police said that incident happened on Thursday to a vehicle parked outside Scheels All Sports in the Oakwood Mall.

Roder said someone cut off the corner of the plate with the registration sticker.

“Odds are someone would want to take the plate and put it on their own vehicle,” Roder said.

But Roder said the joke would be on them.

Once a stolen plate is reported to police, the hot plates immediately get flagged.

“There wouldn’t be any advantage to doing that. Our officers out on patrol, they will view plates and run them against DOT files to determine if the registration is appropriate and if the vehicle matches that plate,” Roder said.

While tough screws and having a car alarm will help protect your plates, Roder said you should also consider where you’re parking your ride.

“Park in well lit areas, parking in your own driveway, motion lights, things like that so if someone is coming toward your vehicle to go to remove it, those are going to be things to deter them from doing that,” Roder said.

The Wisconsin Department of Motor Vehicles said if your plates are stolen, make a report with police and it will cancel the plates and replace them and your stickers for $9.

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