By GABRIELLA BOCK | Reporter
A recent rash of license plate thefts have left some Palisadian drivers paying closer attention to their cars’ rear ends.
Four vehicles in Sunset Mesa have been lifted of their proper tags and replaced with stolen plates, leaving their unknowing drivers susceptible to local law enforcement penalties.
Both LAPD and LA County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating the thefts, spanning from November 2017 to as recently as Jan. 1, but so far no arrests have been made.
Much of that reason is because drivers often go days, sometimes weeks, without realizing their plates have gone missing.
“I don’t know when my plates were stolen, as they aren’t something I look at often,” said Lisa Eichberger, who was one of several locals who say their car’s license plates were stolen while parked outside their home.
According to officials at the Sheriff’s Department, the plates put on Eichberger’s white Mercedes were from a car registered in Cypress.
LAPD Senior Lead Officer Michael Moore told the Palisadian-Post that license plates are typically stolen so that others can avoid detection when committing another crime or to lift the plates of new vehicle registration stickers.
County crime analysts also believe that thieves will swap out plates with a similar stolen model so they can make it across the border undetected.
Such a scheme was played out last November when a pair of Range Rovers had their rear plates switched out overnight.
Further investigation revealed that the imposter plates had been stolen from another Range Rover in the area, that one left without anything in its place.
Cases of license plate thefts are expected to rise in Southern California as more city agencies install automatic plate readers at intersections and on patrol vehicles.
Such devices have been used to take down criminals driving stolen vehicles including “seasoned bandit” James Allen Hayes, who’s been charged with the September 2017 robbery of a U.S. Bank in The Village.
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