By: Leah Uko
OMAHA (KPTM) - At 6 a.m. it was not how Katie Hobson wanted to start her Monday.
"I was thinking in my head, I'm like 'I haven't even had my coffee yet because I had been running late'," she continued. "To come out and see that my plates were stolen I was--I was very upset."
Hobson's Chevy Cruz, which she purchased at the end of January, was stripped of its newly, registered plates and the bolts holding them down.
"Having a car for 45 days and already having it vandalized can make anyone apprehensive."
Since February, license plates have been stolen off of three cars in areas close to 46th and Saddle Creek, 47th and Nicholas near Saddle Creek and 44th and Fort streets.
Hobson had to pay $14.70 to the Douglas County Treasure Department for new, different plates. But because both of her plates were stolen, she actually could have paid less.
"The state will allow us to wave $6.60 of that fee," Douglas County Treasurer, John Ewing said.
When both plates are gone, Ewing said, the Department of Motor Vehicles may consider it theft. If one plate is gone it can be considered missing and the driver will pay the full $14.70.
"They need to make us aware of it," Ewing said. "They need to have that police report so that we can document the fact that they had it and save them that money."
To make it harder to steal your plates, technicians suggest screwing heavy-duty bolts down and taking a glance at your license plates often.
Hobson said she is going do even more than this.
"I'm going to look at putting a car alarm on my vehicle because I don't think--you know obviously having it parked on the street makes it vulnerable for crime."
Hobson said her apartment complex's management is looking into building a parking structure to avoid more plate thefts.
In a different case an officer cited a person for driving a car that had counterfeit plates. Apparently someone stole the original plates and put invalid ones on the car.
Ewing said this citation can be explained to a judge and possibly be waved if the person shows proof the car was registered with the plates claimed to be stolen.
Trips to court, the DMV, citations and re-register fees may be an inconvenience, but Hobson felt it could always be worse.
The thieves could have stolen the car, instead of the plates that were on it.