License Plate Warning - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

License Plate Warning

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KENNEWICK, Wash. - Kennewick Police have a warning for the public about a strategy car thieves are using to get away with stolen cars.

Authorities encourage everyone to know their license plate number because thieves are swapping license plates to throw off authorities.

Police said the thieves will steal a car then switch the license plate with another car that is a similar make and model in order to throw off police and makes it difficult to track down the suspects.

Police said unsuspecting victims might not even notice their plate has been switched.  Police said it just happened in Pasco.  An officer stopped a car after they ran the license plate and the car came back as stolen, but the driver did not steal the car, his license plate had been switched.

Kennewick Corporal Todd Dronen said, "Stolen plates were placed on another car, the same make, the same model, the same color, so that the vehicle was considered stolen when the officer stopped it."  However, upon further investigation authorities realized that the driver was really a victim who had his plates stolen.

It also important for people to know their license plate number in case their car is stolen.  Police said the sooner they can get the stolen car's information out to other law enforcement agencies, the better the chances of finding the car.

Law enforcement from all over the Tri-Cities said it is amazing how often people do not know their plate numbers.