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Thieves stealing license plates is nothing new for local law enforcement, but early 2019 has seen an increase in the crimes in Fremont County.

Some of these crimes are being reported in a new and peculiar way as well. Instead of unscrewing and taking the entire plate, thieves are cutting a small section of the plate around the registration tag off, like in the photo above.

One victim of such a theft has recently had a social media post go viral across Fremont County warning others about her experience. RPD, LPD, and Fremont County Sheriff reports have all indicated thefts in their jurisdictions so far in 2019, with a spike in activity in the first weekend of February.

When we quizzed a couple of local authorities about how motorists can better protect themselves against license plate thefts, it was met with some deal of hesitation. It is a difficult thing to do, especially for those that have to park a vehicle outdoors and can’t constantly keep an eye on it.

Security cameras could help solve the crime but don’t necessarily prevent it from happening.

Most thieves either use razor blades to scrape a tag off, metal cutters, or steal the entire plate with a Phillips screwdriver.

To help deter most thieves, motorists can find a special “one-way screw” at most auto-part stores or online. You can see videos of how these screws work below.

To prevent registration tags from easily being stolen, motorists should consider removing older tags before applying newer ones. This makes using a blade much more difficult.

Additionally, motorists should remember to park in a well-lit, safe place when possible. And as always, if you see suspicious activity, report it right away to authorities.