COLORADO SPRINGS — License plate theft in Southern Colorado is more common than most realize. It is often a crime to aid in another crime.
News 5 investigated a parking area where one person noticed their front plate was gone. In the same parking area, there were close to a dozen more vehicles with license plates also missing.
"It's a common theft item,” said Sgt. Franklyn Ortega with Pueblo Police Department. Colorado Springs police also confirm the same issue.
There are multiple reasons thieves take plates. "The most obvious to us as police is to be involved in criminal activity to where they don't have a plate that's associated with them," said Ortega. Then there are license thieves who use them to get around paying for the legal registration of their vehicles.
Whatever the reason for stealing plates, it becomes an issue for the victim. First, make a police report. "Once it's reported we put it in the system as a stolen plate,” said Ortega, That'll give us reason to contact the person that stole that plate and get it out of circulation."
Colorado does require a front and back plate. Even if it is only the front plate missing you can be stopped by police.
You need the police report number to get replacement plates in the category of stolen.
Whenever you fall victim to one of these crimes, here's what you need to do to replace the sticker or license plate.
- File a police report and keep the document number handy
- Visit your local Clerk & Recorder office with the report number, registration papers (if available), valid identification and insurance
- Fill out form DD2283 Lost or Stolen License Plate / Permit Affidavit (must be signed by owners of the vehicle)
- Replacement costs start at $8.06 for standard plates. Be prepared to pay more if you have specialty or vanity plates