Thieves swapping out license plates, police say

Tegan Hanlon

Anchorage police say reports have spiked from drivers who had their license plates removed and swapped out with stolen plates.

At least 25 people have reported the theft within the past 30 days, at least six of those calls are from the last week, said Anita Shell, police spokeswoman. "We're just trying to alert people to check their plates," she said.

On Thursday morning, a person dialed police dispatch and said their insurance company had called about a recent car accident. The person said they were not involved and their Chevrolet was sitting in the driveway. Police ran the plates and found that the Chevrolet had plates from a Subaru stolen March 15, Shell said.

A similar call came in last week, she said. On March 27, a woman called police and said her rear license plate had been replaced. Police found that the woman's 2011 Subaru was replaced with plates from a stolen 2009 Subaru, Myren said.

Shell said police have not identified any trends in the string of plate swaps. "The plates are being swapped out in parking lots of businesses and parking lots of residences," she said. "But it's hard to say. The people don't necessarily notice it right away."

Reach Tegan Hanlon at or 257-4589.