ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Criminals are getting creative when it comes to covering up their crimes and unfortunately it means they're causing even more trouble and problems.
Rockford Police say it's important we call them immediately if our plates are stolen because the thieves who steal license plates usually put them on a car used in a crime. If we don't report them stolen and officers trace the plate number involved in the crime, we could take the fall.
Rockford Police say license plate thefts are becoming more common. According to officers 15 plates were stolen last month. That's compared to just five that were stolen in October 2012. Cops say it's important we check our cars every time we get in them. It just takes a matter of seconds to steal a plate, which is why the thefts are happening virtually everywhere: While cars are parked on the street, in parking lots, and even in our driveways.
If your plates are stolen, call police immediately. You'll also have to foot the bill for a new plate and sticker, which is $26.
There are some products designed to prevent license plate thefts. Most auto stores sell kits with special screws and wrenches for license plates. There are also license plate holders designed to prevent theft.