Tuesday, March 20, 2012

How to Prevent Theft of Tags

Theft of Tags = When some absolutely ruthless person comes along when no one is looking and peels off, or uses a razor blade to scrape off your valid registration tag from your license plate.

Or as 'ruthless' thinks of it:

Theft of Tags = Man my ride is so hot and dude the tags are gone.  I got a run to do you know so it's like this....  you park in my line of sight, right?  and aren't looking, right? So I take your tags, like right now right now, 'cause I don't care about your sorry a...... 

I'll stop there. 

Theft of Tags is a term used a lot in California.  Where registering a 10 year old vehicle for just one year can run you easily over 150.00 and that's only if you are on time!  If you are a day late... Forget about it!  The fine's alone are about 30% of the price and they keep going up to near doubling the original cost.  Sorry to my DMV friends.  Your window is the only window I would go to.  I would wait days to get to your window just so you could help me.... Oh wait, I have! 

So, why should I even mention the theft up here?  Where registering my vehicles is so painless that I would rather choose to go to the DMV rather then the dentist!  Something that can not be said about any DMV in California that I have ever been to?

Sidebar:  The roads are just as bad in California as they are in Oregon.  Just take a drive on Hwy 99 through the central valley and look at all the ladders that have been flung out of the back of pickups from all the bumps they hit!  In fact, most Motorcycle riders comment to us how they love the Oregon Roads!  

Well a few weeks ago I went to register our new vehicle with them.  As I mentioned on Facebook I was in and out in about 16 minutes and 2 year registration was only 86.00!!!  Gotta love Tillamook, Oregon!

I jokingly commented on how I was going to go put the new tags on my vehicle and do my razor blade anti theft mojo on them and the man behind the counter looked at me funny.... As if not sure he even wanted me to explain more.

I explained to him that where I lived before, steeling the tags off the vehicles was extremely common.  So we got to putting our tags securely on our vehicle and slicing them with a razor blade.  He looked at me funny still.

I know I'm used to it.

I smiled and said... If they want my tags, they can have them.  But I can guarantee they won't come off anywhere near usable!

It surprised me the comment he said when he was catching my point.  A slight smile of "Oh, good idea" look, followed with him saying, "That's a good way of doing it, Tag theft is becoming a problem up here now with the economy the way it is.  We're seeing it a lot lately!"

I was shocked. 

1. That people are steeling tags here now also!!!! What are they following me??


2.  It only costs 43.00 a year dudes!!!!!! Seriously????

Which prompted me to want to show you what we do here when it comes to adhering the new tags.  While it won't stop someone from stealing them Since they also are known to take the whole plate as well!! (Heavy Sigh!) It will stop them from EVER being able to use them on another vehicle.

So here is the clump of tags.  Someone is just slapping on the new one over the old one.  Nice big pile there.  

You will need a few handy tools.  Scraper, razor blade, your new tags.  That's it!

Take you handy scraper and scrape off down to the first one you can find.  Further if you can.  Don't hurt yourself.  Where gloves if you think you might!

I got all the way back to 1997 on mine!  It was now a nice clean smooth surface for my new tag.

Put the tag on and press it down firmly.  Your not done!

 Take your razor blade and 'slice' carefully diagonally through the tag.  You want enough pressure that you slice it.. but not enough that you mangle the tag up.  Do several rows.. I did about 6 in one direction.

And then I did about 6 in the other direction.

If you look really carefully you can see the diagonal cut marks across the tag.  But if you didn't know they were there, you wouldn't see anything.  

If they try and take my tag... Chances are they will get fed up and not get the whole thing.  It will literally come off in pieces.  Crooks aren't going to want to spend the time trying to get the entire tag in all the little pieces.  They want easy... so they will move on.  If they wanted the challenge they would have gotten a darn job and paid for their own car and tags. 

However, most from California are saying... They're just going to take the whole plate then!  And, yes, they are known to do that also.  So make sure you have that license plate bolted on where a plain screwdriver won't work at getting it off.  Special nuts and bolts work great here. 

To which most from California are saying.... They're just going to use metal clippers and cut it off!!!

To which I say, yes!  They will.  But at least you have made it as hard for them as possible! 

The name of the game is making them work for it!  Because chances are, if they have to work for it.. they are moving on to someone that doesn't make them!

Hope this helps!  Be careful with the razor blade... Don't cut yourself.. and if you do.. It's not my fault!  You need to use caution!  Or have someone else do it!  :-)  There I go with the California stupid legal should be common sense but most don't have it down there kind of talk! 
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