COCOA, Fla. – Polly Hare, a senior citizen living in Cocoa, said she had no idea how her stolen Florida license plate could be on the back of a van in South Florida, nine years after she reported the theft to police.
According to Sanford police, Hare’s 2008 Coleman pop-up camper was stolen from a local storage facility on Jan. 25, 2010.
Hare said the license plate was on the back of her camper, but she admits she never reported it stolen until toll violations arrived in the mail in January and February of this year.
The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles said the license plate was never renewed, and expired August 2010.
So how did an expired stolen plate end up on a vehicle 250 miles away from her home?
We may never know, but most likely, it was sold illegally.
Beth Frady, of the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, said the state does not reissue license plates.
Between 2010 and 2017, more than 300,000 vehicles were reported stolen in Florida, according to the FDLE database.
Eric Hare said his mother never reported the license plate as stolen and that left her liable for the toll violations, which cost 50 cents each.
“Nobody seems to want to talk to her about it," he said. “Other than, 'It’s your problem.'”
A toll violation photo obtained by News 6 clearly shows Florida license plate number 383YHC on the back of what appears to be a large white cargo van.
The Hares said they do not own a white van, but confirmed the license plate in the toll photo matched the number of their expired license plate.
News 6 contacted the Florida Department of Transportation to sort out the matter.
Communications Director Ann Howard could not discuss the specific details of the case but indicated that a positive resolution had been reached.
According to Eric Hare, SunPass issued an account refund along with a statement: “We look forward to serving your transportation needs in the future.”
The license plate is no longer active in the state system.