For those of you enjoying the free-flowing high-occupancy vehicle lane on the Capitol Expressway (in your HOV-exempt hybrid, no less), stay sharp, as it looks like those oh-so-valuable stickers that reside on your ride appear as gold to thieves. Apparently, "two to three dozen" victims per month are surfacing in California, where the now-extinct stickers are presumably fetching a pretty penny on the underground markets. The labels -- which were handed out to some 85,000 hybrid owners in years past to give them the same speedy privileges are carpoolers -- are no longer being administered by the DMV, which means that those that were able to take advantage are now targets. Interestingly, hybrid vehicles that are up for sale in the area are fetching "nearly $4,000 more" than comparative models so long as they come with the coveted sticker pre-installed. Notably, the DMV claims that the "carpool stickers are treated chemically so they crumble apart if tampered with," but that wee tidbit isn't likely to slow down a desperate bandit.

[Via Fark]

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Thieves swiping HOV exemption stickers from hybrids