License plate, sticker thefts on the rise in Petersburg

Posted at 1:49 PM, Jan 31, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-01 07:32:50-05

PETERSBURG, Va. (WTVR) - Police in Petersburg are waning residents about a string of license plates and sticker thefts in the city.

In fact, Tabernacle Baptist Church's James Crocker said crooks first stole the license plates from the church's van in November. Then in December, the plates on their bus were stolen.

"There's no excuse, they shouldn't be stealing from the church," said Crocker.

Moreover, police said stickers and license plates have been target for thieves during January.

"We've had 10 license plates that have been taken this month and two license plate stickers, which are either your month or year stickers off of the license plates," said Petersburg Police Lt. Sheldon Wills.

However, police said a few simple precautionary measures can prevent your plates and stickers from being stolen.

"So Number 1, make sure you have a clean surface to affix the new sticker to.  Secondly, you can take a razor blade, just your common razor blade, and make two cuts, corner to corner, make it look like an X," said Willis.

This will prevent the thieves from being able to pull of the sticker.

Willis said drivers should avoid trying to protect their plates by using a clear plastic cover or a smoked cover since those are illegal in Virginia.

While a cover can cost you a ticket, another simple way to protect your license plate is to replace the screws with ones that require a hex key.