PIEDMONT – Police are looking for a car stolen from Oakland after making a “high-risk” traffic stop, with firearms drawn, Thursday morning in Piedmont of a car whose valid license plates had been stolen and replaced with plates from a stolen car, police said Friday.
Shortly before 8 a.m.Thursday, a vehicle headed north on Grand Avenue into Piedmont passed a Piedmont license-plate reading camera. The camera detected a plate reported as stolen, and alerted police of that, said Piedmont police Capt. Chris Monahan. The vehicle’s identification number also didn’t match the plates on the car, he added.
Officers encountered the vehicle on Grand near Oakland Avenue. Police did what they call a “high-risk” traffic stop, which Monahan said is the usual method in the stop of a vehicle reported as stolen.
The car’s driver, a 47-year-old Oakland woman, was ordered out of the car at gunpoint and to put her hands up, Monahan said. She was handcuffed and put into the back seat of a police vehicle, said Monahan, adding that she was cooperative the entire time.
It was then discovered the plates on her car were those registered to a car that had been reported stolen. Monahan said a thief — who was still being sought Friday afternoon — appears to have stolen a car out of Oakland and switched license plates, and has probably put the woman’s valid plates on the stolen car.
“The bad guy took the ‘bad’ plates from a stolen car and put the ‘good’ plates on that stolen car,” Monahan said. “The stolen plates were now on this woman’s car.”
The hope, he said, is that the “bad” plates will lead police to the original car thief, and the return of the Oakland woman’s valid plates.