The paper tags strike again!
As we’ve covered before, paper license plates are the best friends of car thieves. They can be easily duplicated and forged, allowing people who don’t own a car to drive it around with little suspicion. But a police officer in Atlanta, Georgia recently did get suspicious of a Maserati Levante with paper tags because the ink was running “like something out of a Goosebumps movie” indicating it might not have been legitimate.
As it turns out, the officer’s hunch was correct. When he stopped and questioned 28-year-old Travionte Smith about the tag, the officer admitted the ink running might have been from recent storms. Still, he got the driver’s license and went back to his car, running it. That’s when the officer realized the ID was fake and the Maserati was likely stolen.
After going back and asking the driver to step out, Smith moved like he was going to drive away. The officer opened the door and Smith complied, but then tried to run on foot. He didn’t get far before another officer jumped in and they subdued the man.
Then the truth came out as police ran the VIN on the 2017 Levante, learning the luxury Italian SUV was stolen in May. What’s more, they found eight different IDs in the Maserati, numerous electronics, cell phones, chains, and a handgun. That’s a lot of evidence Smith had gathered together to hand over to police.
These paper temporary tags cause serious problems in every state. Not only do car thieves use them, so do other criminals. While Texas has moved to eliminate them entirely, no other state has seriously discussed the issue. With technology where it is today, surely there’s a way to get around using them, thus closing up a loophole criminals use to obscure who they are as they drive around.