Rogers Park

Man hit with 23 speeding, red light tickets says his license plate was stolen

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A Rogers Park man tells NBC Chicago he has been fighting a losing battle, as an unknown individual drives around with his stolen plate, racking up nearly $1,500 in fines.

 “I fee like this crime should be punished. If they find the perpetrator they should be charged with identity theft,” he said.

The victim in the case first discovered the front plate of his BMW SUV was missing at the end of June and says he immediately filed a police report.

The vehicle was parked right in front of his building near the intersection of Morse Avenue and Wolcott Avenue.

Soon after, he started getting tickets in the mail.

“The first ticket, I was just kinda shocked,” he said. “We drafted a letter and we mailed a copy of the police report noting the plate as stolen and explaining the car does not match the registered vehicle.”

Since then, the victim said he has received 12 tickets in the mail for speeding and red light camera violations. His stolen plate is now seen on a dark-colored sedan, believed to be a Nissan Altima.

The driver is captured on video committing multiple violations a day on the city’s North and West Sides.

“Clearly the car types are not matching so it should raise a question, but instead of questioning it—they are just blindly mailing it out, and it just shows they’re just using an automated computer system that just matches the plate and mails the ticket and there’s no thought,” he said. “I know I’m not the only person.”

NBC Chicago learned he was hit with a total of 23 violations according to city records from June 16 to July 9.

“Are they using that plate on that car committing crimes more serious other than red light and speed cameras that I’m not aware of now,” he said. “It’s frustrating, they’re being tracked to my record. It's essentially a form of identity theft.”

So what should you do if you find yourself in this situation?

The Illinois Secretary of State issued a statement to NBC Chicago, saying, “When a motorist has their license plates stolen, we recommend they replace the stolen plates with a new plate number and revoke the old one as soon as possible. To do this, they can visit a DMV, request a new replacement license plate, and fill out a form revoking the old plate number. They will leave the DMV with a new set of license plates.”

A spokesperson said the replacement fee is $29.

“I still have to pay all the fees and everything,” he said. “It’s insane. It’s maddening.”

Peter said he has yet to go to the DMV, but said he feels as though more should be done for victims like him.

“The city does nothing to protect its law-abiding citizens yet I feel like it goes to length to protect the criminals,” he said. “We should be rewarded for being a good citizen, not punished.”

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