MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - The Minneapolis Police Department is warning residents in the 3rd Precinct to keep an eye on their cars after a recent spike in the number of license plate thefts in the area.
The 3rd Precinct received six reports of stolen license plates this week and 11 the week before. MPD spokesperson John Elder said license plate thefts have always been a problem in the city and across the Twin Cities metro, but the precinct has seen an increase as of late.
According to police, criminals often steal license plates to use on stolen vehicles or to commit a crime using the stolen plates so they cannot be identified.
To prevent your license plates from being stolen, police are advising residents to replace the standard screws with security screws, which can be found at any hardware store or ordered online. If possible, residents should park their vehicles in well-lighted areas or in a locked garage.
Police said residents should also be on the lookout for people who might be near vehicles and stealing plates and call 911 immediately if they see anything suspicious.
The 3rd Precinct includes the Bancroft, Bryant, Central, Cooper, Corcoran, Diamond Lake, Ericsson, Field, Hale, Hiawatha, Keewaydin, Longfellow, Midtown Phillips, Minnehaha, Morris Park, Northrop, Phillips West, Page, Phillips East, Powderhorn Park, Regina, Seward, Standish, Ventura Village, Wenonah neighborhoods.