Secure screws save Petersburg license plates - FOX Carolina 21

Secure screws save Petersburg license plates

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PETERSBURG, VA (WWBT) -

Petersburg Police are taking on criminals, one screw at a time.

Police say it takes criminals just seconds to grab a license plate and speed off, leaving you with a major headache.

That's why police are distributing free special screws that make your license plate nearly impossible to remove. It's an effort by police to cut back on license plate thefts in Petersburg, after an apparent increase in the crime.

"They may have a license plate at home that they didn't renew or couldn't afford to renew. So, they'll get the sticker and utilize that sticker on their license plate, so that they can still operate their vehicle," explained Lt. Sheldon Wills with the Petersburg Police Department.

In 2012, police reported 81 stolen license plates. In 2013, they saw that number jump to 119.
At last count in 2014, there were already 88.

So, police ordered the secure screws and they've been giving them away for free. That's a relief to drivers here, thankful for such a simple crime fighting tool.

"It would be very annoying if I had to keep trying to replace my decals or my license plates, cause it costs money," said Carol Pegram, a Petersburg driver.

Petersburg police say they want to keep providing the screws. City residents can call them about how to get a set for yourself. Police also recommend that when you put your decal on your car,  take a blade and slice the sticker in an "x" motion. That way if someone tries to peel the sticker off, they only get part of it and that won't work.

Copyright 2014 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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