Keep your plates safe(r)

If license plate theft is a thing where you live, make it harder for the perps to nab yours with a simple solution, license plate security screws. Easy to install and gives a little extra peace of mind in these turbulent days.

The Aootf security screws "exploded parts" drawing.
The Aootf security screws "exploded parts" drawing.

A wave of license plate theft continues in Minneapolis, along with carjackings, auto theft, breaking into vehicles to steal stuff, and general lawlessness. It's a distinct shame and a terrible commentary on how far society has disintegrated.

In a new twist, at least to me, the perps (short for perpetrators) replace your plates with other stolen plates. This does two things for them. First, it delays you discovering your plates have been stolen because 99.9999% of people do not pay attention to their plates and can't tell you the number on a bet. Okay, I'm projecting here because I don't pay them any mind and do not know the numbers.

Second, Those plates probably have been reported stolen, so their usefulness is over. So, why not put them on an innocent person's vehicle and get a chuckle when the police stop them. Very funny...

How the theft likely goes down

The thieves pick a likely vehicle and remove the plates using a regular or cordless screwdriver. Hey, when you make the big leagues of petty crime, you can afford some mechanization. Remove the screws, replace the plates with the stolen ones, reattach the screws, and bolt. I'd hazard a guess that this takes 2 - 3 minutes, tops.

Make it harder for the thieves to succeed

Criminals like to work fast. Fast means less chance of discovery and the unpleasantness that can ensue. So, anything that disrupts their routine increases the amount of time to commit the crime, and they'll generally move on to an easier target.

Using security screws to hold your plates to your vehicle disrupts the routine, presenting them with a screw type they are likely unprepared to handle. That's what I did for my vehicle's plates; I purchased and installed a lovely set of security screws from Amazon, the Aootf Black Anti-Theft License Plate Screws, to be exact.

Choices abound, and I don't recall precisely why I purchased this set. Still, I suspect the fact they were anodized stainless steel and came with everything necessary to install (and remove) the screws played into my decision. I have to say, I am thrilled with the quality of the product and the thoughtful touches of the kit. You can install them with the typical sheet metal screw or a machine thread style. And, if you need inserts for the screws or bolts, they are included.

The contents of the kit I purchased.
The contents of the kit I purchased.
Picture of the materials and finishing process used in the bolts and screws.
Close up and personal with the bolts and how they're made. Nice!

How much are you willing to pay for foiling a theft of your plates?

Drumroll please...okay, how much are you willing to pay to make it harder for a plate thief to abscond with your license plates and leave you with stolen plates in return? For the paltry sum of $12.99 plus MN State Sales Tax, you can have them on your doorstep tomorrow with Prime's next-day delivery. Just be sure to sign up for delivery alerts to beat the porch pirates to the punch! Cheap at 1.5 times the price.

Install them yourself and save!

This is, after all, a DIY blog site. This kit has everything you need to install the bolts, even if you have no tools whatsoever. My only advice is to pick a warm day or work inside your garage. Replacing license plate bolts in the dead of a Minnesota winter leaves much to be desired.