• Authorities say vehicles with temporary tags make it hard to catch criminals

    By: Elsa Gillis

    Updated:

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Brandi Kay was driving to work last week when she was rear-ended.

    "You can see this part is loose. It was actually more out when I was first hit,” Kay said.

    The other driver stopped only for a moment before taking off.  

    "The minute she got out of the car the first thing she said was, 'Are you OK? I have to go to work,’” Kay said.

    Kay managed to snap a picture of the car's tag. She said police ran the plates, but they couldn’t find the driver.

    "Basically, they said there's not much that they can do,” Kay said. “It's very frustrating."

    The tag was a temporary one and state Trooper Ray Pierce told Channel 9 that often presents an issue because they're not always trackable. And sometimes they're even fake.

    "You’ve got the hurdles of tracking down which dealership the plates were assigned to and actually who those plates were given to. A lot of trust is placed in the dealership that their bookkeeping is being upheld and being done properly to allow us to sift through the paperwork,” Pierce said.

    In another case nearly a week ago, a family was attacked at a stop light with their child in the car.

    [RELATED: 'You're in a panic': Charlotte family shaken after road rage incident]

    They told Channel 9 a man got out of a car, came up to their window and smashed it before taking off.

    They said the suspect car also had paper tags from a dealership.

    "It definitely makes our job easier when there is a permanent plate on a vehicle,” Pierce said.

    CMPD said it has not made any arrests in the case involving the family whose car window was smashed.

    South Carolina is changing its temporary license plates, which currently only show an expiration date, so that police can quickly identify the owner.

    [RELATED: Temporary plates in SC get upgrade to help police track crimes]

    There are also some changes in North Carolina. 

    “North Carolina is starting to enter those plates in. Those new plates have a T and P at the beginning. Those T and P plates are the new ones that are entered in through DCI," Pierce said.

    That allows law enforcement to easily look them up.

    Kay said she’s happy it’s changing but frustrated it’s not already the case.

    "There needs to be some kind of system put into play when these people register these temp tags so the cops, or whomever it is, can easily access them,” Kay said.

    Kay said she’s still getting her car looked at but knows she needs a new bumper which will cost about $600.

    She said she’s willing to offer a reward to anyone who helps police find the driver.

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