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License plate robberies on the rise in Tucson

Posted at 8:08 AM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 13:44:47-04

Robbers are hitting vehicles, but this time they are not after what's inside the car.

Tucson Police are warning about a rise in license plate robberies. Investigators say there has been 159 so far this year. The hardest hit area, according to, is north of Downtown. More than 25 license plates have been stolen in that area.

According to police, the reason the number is so high is that it is easy for thieves to remove the screws and swipe a plate. 

Investigators say, license plates are stolen for the tags. However, thieves also take them for stolen cars as a way to throw off officers who might be on the lookout for a specific plate number.

Police are offering some tips that will help protect your plates and make it more difficult for criminals.

Officials advise that you:

  •  Routinely check your plates
  •  Install a license plate frame 
  •  Attach your license plate to the rear bumper of your car

You can also buy special security screws that are difficult to remove with common screwdrivers. The anti-theft screws cost about $5 at your local auto shop. They are designed to only unscrew with the specialty circle wrench they come with and each one is different.