Stolen sticker makes councilman’s brush with law a learning experience |

Stolen sticker makes councilman’s brush with law a learning experience

Breckenridge Town Councilman Mark Burke recently learned that if you cut the registration stickers on your vehicle after applying them to the plate, it makes the stickers harder to steal.
Eli Pace / |

Breckenridge Town Councilman Mark Burke came away from a recent interaction with local law enforcement with a new appreciation for the officer involved and with a nifty trick to help prevent theft in the future.

Relaying his account of his brush with the law at Tuesday night’s town council meeting, Burke said Breckenridge Police officer Galen Peterson alerted him to a problem with the registration stickers on his vehicle’s license plate.

Highly complimentary of the officer, Burke said he had apparently been the victim of someone stealing the sticker off his plate when Peterson saw it.

Registering a vehicle can be expensive in Colorado, and thieves sometimes target the stickers on up-to-date vehicles. Burke said that Peterson could clearly see the sticker had been removed from his car and knew his registration was valid. The councilman added that the officer then shared with him a tip about how to prevent people from stealing license plates stickers.

Burke said the officer told him that he could cut the sticker on his license plate diagonally, using something like a razor blade or box cutter, after it’s been applied to the plate as a deterrent. The result is anyone who tries to peel the sticker off will only get a quarter of it off at most before realizing that it’s in four pieces and moving on.

“Did you ever think of cutting it?” Burke asked the council. The advice came as news to many people at Tuesday’s meeting, including Police Chief Dennis McLaughlin.

However, it’s apparently not all that uncommon of a suggestion, as the sliced-up-sticker tip can be found in various news stories across the country and through discussion websites like

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