One has to wonder if this is due to the difficulty of getting in races. I'm not talking about Boston where a runner has ample opportunity for 12mo to get in the race if they can run the times (sorry Dennis Crowley, your wife just isn't fast enough to make the cut, so don't copy your bib for her).
I know no one who duplicated a Boston bib, but I do know many that bandited the Utica Boilermaker, the nation's largest 15K. As an example, the Boilermaker sold out in around an hour this year, 4 months before the race. Did you sleep in or get coffee before opening your laptop to register? Sorry, 12000 people just beat you to it. I was there at the tick that it opened, which I felt silly, but when I'd finished, 5000 people had already registered.
So it's really a question of entitlement. If race organizers don't make the race massive enough to hold everyone, are they privy to bandit? It would seem enough Americans these days cannot fathom doing without, so they just take what they want. Personally, I severely injured my IT band forcing myself to a BQ, since that's how you're supposed to race Boston. I'd never fathomed stealing an entry.
PS: BAA, it's obvious who stole bibs in these photos. Make sure you give them a BAN FOR LIFE, and let's scan the barcodes on those bibs like tickets at NFL games. I thought you were beefing up security last year after all.