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UPDATE: Since writing this original post, a police report has been filed (beware you no good license plate thieves) and the DMV has issued me a new license plate. Alleluia!

I have been robbed!! Some no good thief in Emeryville stole my car’s front license plate.

Before I left to visit friends on Friday night, I had a front license plate. The following morning, after driving to my Saturday kick-boxing class, I discovered that it was missing. After careful inspection of the remaining license plate holder, the tears and scratch marks made it very clear that the plate did not just merely fall off as some have suggested. No, no, it was taken by force.

Now the real question is —Why the hell would anyone want my front license plate. It would make more sense if this no good thief had stolen my registration sticker or my back license plate as indicated by the two news articles that I found below.

  • ABC News: This article indicates that in areas where you pay for gas after you pump, people are stealing back license plates so that they can steal gas without getting into trouble. Basically, the thieves will attach the stolen license plate to their cars, go to a gas station, fill up the tank then drive off without paying. I suppose this “strategy” insures that if a video tape or camera captures their license plate number, the no good thief will not be caught since they are using a stolen plate. However, since I live in the state of California where every gas station that I have ever patronized has been a prepay pump, this surely can not be the reason why I was robbed.
  • Santa Rosa Press Democrat: A few days a go, a man accused of stealing car registration stickers in Sonoma County (which is a part of the San Francisco Bay Area) was caught. In this case, the man stuck the stolen sticker on his own car. Unfortunately for him, a local police officer was quite diligent when he looked up his license plate and found that the car’s registration was last updated in 2006 despite the 2008 sticker. Lucky for me, I still have my 2008 registration sticker. However, this still does not explain why my front license plate was stolen.

So what’s the benefit of stealing a front license plate? Clearly, it is worthless without the registration sticker (Any cop that notices a missing registration sticker or an out of date sticker will quickly pull you over for that offense, especially since they have their ticket quotas to meet.) Whatever the thief’s intentions, my poor front license plate is now probably an unwilling accessory to crime.

Or another hypothesis that I have is that some stupid artsy kid decided steal my front license plate to make a map of the U.S.A with stolen plates or some other worthless art project.

Public Relations Notes: In publicizing this crime that has been committed against me, I am hoping to find other victims so that we can all rally together and find this SOB, beat him and leave him covered in tar and feathers in the town square……or not. No really PR notes on this, I am just complaining.