License plate vandalism reported on campus

University Police have received multiple reports of tampered license plates over the past few days. ORACLE PHOTO ILLUSTRATION

Hannah Hull sat in her Honda Civic at the intersection of Bearss and Nebraska avenues. Blaring music, she said she almost didn’t notice the woman yelling for her attention from another car. 

When she turned, the woman brought attention to the condition of her license plate — off its hinges. Pulling into a small plaza, she said she realized someone had been tampering with her plate. 

There has been a string of such incidents, according to University Police (UP) Assistant Chief Chris Daniel. A single report filed yesterday stated six vehicles’ tags had been vandalized in a similar fashion.

“It was a timespan of over two days,” Daniel said. “Apparently, the people hadn’t checked on their vehicles in a couple of days, and then (they) noticed it.”

The affected cars had been parked in the R permit parking lot north of Mu Hall on the north side of campus.

“I’m pretty appalled that someone is going around doing something like that,” said Hull, a freshman living in Theta Hall.

The computer science major said she was already nervous about parking in Tampa, as she is from New Port Richey.

As of now, there are no known suspects. Daniel said this may have been a prank or dare, as none of the damage is permanent, though they have not ruled out the possibility of more nefarious intentions.

In Florida, stealing a license plate is considered petit theft.

“It could be a number of things,” Daniel said, regarding the possible motivation of the perpetrator. “But it’s really hard to say, without knowing who the suspects are (and) what their motivations were.”