Thieves swap Spokane driver's license plates


Thieves aren't just targeting your car, but the plates on it as well. One recent victim said she hopes her story will motivate others to memorize their plate numbers and regularly check for anything suspicious.

It all started with a knock on Tori Osteraa-Meier's front door. It was two officers looking for answers.

"When they came to my house, they said, 'Did you know the car in front of your house is stolen?'" she said. "They were very concerned I stole it.They asked if I knew my license plate number right off the bat. I didn't, and they were very suspicious."

A quick check of the registration and VIN cleared Tori of any wrongdoing. She said officers quickly realized she was a victim too. She said they told her thieves replaced her plates with those from a recently stolen car. 

"They said it was really rare that someone would steal almost the exact same car as mine and do it that way," she said.

Tori was creeped out by the clearly calculated crime.

"They definitely had to plan (the theft) and definitely had to be watching," she said.

And because her car never had plates missing, she said she never would have known something was wrong. She's just grateful the crime wasn't discovered while she was driving. When officers spot occupied stolen cars, it warrants a felony traffic stop.

SPD encourages all drivers to try to memorize their plate number, so they could quickly notice a crime like this and report it. They advise always parking in well lit, secure areas.

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