One sunny afternoon, I was patrolling the highways when I passed a large, expensive black Mercedes Benz in the #2 lane. As I passed the Mercedes and looked at the license plate, a light went off in my brain. I knew he had the wrong type of license plate on the vehicle. I ran a check on it and sure enough the plate came back to a different type of vehicle out of a city two hours away. After making the stop, it became clear that something was wrong. With a backup unit responding, I ran the VIN number of the car and it was a reported stolen vehicle.
The person driving had committed a home invasion robbery, pistol whipped the family, stole their jewelry, money and car. He then drove to his home where he put the wrong plates on the car, but he had no idea that the license plates belonged on a different type of vehicle and most officers would notice it. What appeared to be a minor violation turned into a bigger case. I was able to take a violent felon off the streets just because I paid attention to license plates. -MW