PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WVEC) -- Police are looking in to a spike in license plate thefts in the City of Portsmouth.

Authorities think it's to avoid the tolls at the Downtown and Midtown tunnels.

Our partners at The Virginian-Pilot report the department has logged around 375 license plate thefts so far this year. That's up from 334 for all of 2016.

Under Virginia law, using a license plate that is not registered to your car is a Class 2 misdemeanor.

Elizabeth River Crossings, which operates the tunnel tolls, is working with police.