(MOBILE, Ala.) At least three license plates and one license plate sticker have been stolen in Mobile this week, according to overnight crime reports.
This continues a trend of stolen license plates in daily crime reports and it has gotten the attention of Mobile County License Commissioner Kim Hastie, who said her office has seen a rise in drivers asking for replacement license plates.
"We had 4,600 replacements, and, this year, we had 150 more than that," Hastie said.
Hastie said one reason for the increase in replacement plates are thefts.
"I've had several people call me over the past few weeks, and say their license tag had been stolen," Hastie said.
Loretta Ervin, an employee at a Mobile title office, said the small renewal stickers have been targeted too.
"It's a combination of both things," Ervin said. "I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I have seen a very big increase recently."
"They use them for all sorts of things," Hastie said. "I mean, they either just want to put it on their car because they didn't come in and renew their license, or, sometimes, it could be for foul play."
Hastie said it is why drivers should always check to see if their plates are still attached to their vehicles.
"As soon as you know that your tag has been stolen, you need to come in and report it and get a replacement," Hastie said. "It's only two dollars for a replacement, and, therefore, it changes the responsibility off of that decal to your new one."
Hastie said drivers who are unable to park their car in a garage or secure area should score the renewal sticker on the license plate with a razor blade. Hastie said it makes it nearly impossible for thieves to steal the sticker.
License plate locks can slow a thief down, but they are not guaranteed to prevent theft.