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If you’re worried that someone might steal your license plate, Amazon offers a $5 solution to the problem in the form of specialty fasteners. They’re designed to make your plate just a little harder to steal than the one on the car next to you. I came across this while spinning around Amazon looking at tools, and I’ll admit my first thought was “Really? These are necessary?” Apparently so, at least if you believe the review comments. Check out the first one in which “psnorb” shares his experience of having his plates stolen and promptly used in a high-speed chase with police. (Interestingly, his biggest gripe is that the police kept his plate as evidence.) I have no idea where “psnorb” lives, but I’m guessing it’s not here in Dallas, TX.

Anyway, these are pretty much standard anti-theft fastener fare in that they require a special wrench (or a pair of locking pliers) to remove. Some reviewers complain that the bolts are too large for standard plates, but that seems like an easy fix (get out your drill and enlarge the holes). Of course, you could always just resort to any of the many anti-theft machine screws available [What’s This?], or just make your own. As always, none of these guarantee any real safety; they simply make you slightly less of an easy target.

Here’s a question, though: Do many of you regularly deal with auto vandalism?

Anti-Theft Chrome License Plate Fasteners [What’s This?]


16 Responses to Anti-Theft License Plate Fasteners

  1. dazrin says:

    I have had my license plate stolen twice, both when I was living in an apartment complex. It is annoying and costs ~$20 for replacement plates plus the time and effort to contact the police and report them stolen so they don’t come looking for you if they are used in a crime, go to the DMV to apply for new plates, etc. So if I was still there this would be very tempting.

    I also had my hub caps stolen, but never bothered to replace them (at $50/each from the dealer).

  2. dazrin says:

    I forgot to say…I also had all my tools and my good first aid kit stolen from the back of the truck. I am very glad I am not there anymore. Although renter’s insurance bought me some nice new tools…it wasn’t worth it.

  3. Steve says:

    Or, use torx or hex head fasteners. They are easier to get and enough of a deterrent to send a license plate thief to the next car.

  4. David says:

    In my experience both in the rental car industry as well as around town, license plates are pretty commonly swapped because they’re easily available.

    This will usually be because:

    Someone is driving a stolen car and it is easier to blend in without a license number that is reported stolen.

    Someone has expired tags (didn’t pay ad valorum) and would rather risk stealing a plate than getting pulled over for bad tags.

    Someone bought a cheap used car and preferred to steal a licence plate rather than pay for one at the tag office.

    It’s ridiculous that this happens as frequently as it does, particularly in crowded parking areas where anonymity is easily come by. I guess it’s just too convenient of a crime to make certain people think twice about it.

  5. Hoipoloi says:

    Wait until your ‘gas’ is as dear as it is here in the UK. Thieves steal number/registration plates to use when ‘bilking’ (filling car with petrol at a service station and driving off without paying).
    If it’s at night the first you know of it is when the police call at your home with evidence of your registration being caught on CCTV.

  6. george says:

    won’t work. period ! i tried all kinds of stuff including those special screws/bolts. all the folks do is bend the plates till they break.
    my answer for the last 10 years or so is to take the plates off when parked at home. no more theft.

  7. Steven B says:

    I agree with the other posters – a swap of your plates is a hassle you don’t want to have. The people swapping plates aren’t swapping them to volunteer at the soup kitchen. They swap because (1) they have a bad plate and (2) they presume everyone else to have a good plate, and (3) most people will not immediately notice a different plate, but will instantly notice a missing plate – thus delaying any reporting of stolen plates as long as possible. The really smart ones pick a same make/model/body style so that if their plate does get called in it matches what the dispatcher reports back to the officer or what an automated sweeper would be able to detect.

    It is more of a pain in the ass then getting your credit card stolen. You are responsible for dealing with parking tickets, EZPass/toolbooth fines, and more. Fighting the tickets usually takes a court appearance.

  8. Kurt says:

    @Hoipoloi – Most, if not all service stations in the US are pre-pay, so at least that is not a factor.

    Does give tourists a bit of a pause though!

    • browndog77 says:

      In reality, most stations that advertise pay first,(except those along major highways and toll roads) will still allow pumping first if you just pull up and start the process. It is apparently not automatic in all systems, or is very easy to for attendants to override.

  9. Tom says:

    These could be used for other thieft resistant applications not just plates.

  10. Dr Bob says:

    Definitely worth it – avoids a lot of hassle.

  11. Ben Marvin says:

    One of my exgirlfriends had her plates stolen, and not in a high crime area either. Probably just bored kids on a Friday night.

    My Saab came with Torx screws for the license plate and I’ve never had a problem, since most thieves are unlike to carry anything beyond a simple flathead and phillips screwdriver.

  12. Miss Franciene says:

    What about a threadlocker type product I’m wondering if this would work to stop lp theives.

  13. Alfredo says:

    where and can i buy fasteners and wrench in miami florida

  14. ambush27 says:

    In my neck of the woods(Edmonton, AB) the cops will give you free locking screws. Not that license plate theft is all that common.

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