It was a bridge too far!
Authorities arrested three drivers for using phony out-of-state license plates to evade tolls on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge on June 9, according to a Sunday announcement.
Officers with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Bridge and Tunnel division cuffed the motorists within a 30-minute timespan and they each face up to almost a year in jail and a fine for their alleged attempts to dodge the bridge charges.
“Use of fraudulent license plates is a crime that equates to lost revenue for the MTA and is unfair to law-abiding motorists,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnel president Daniel DeCrescenzo in a statement on June 13.
On Wednesday at 9:30 a.m., officers on the span formerly known as the Triborough Bridge caught the drivers with fake plates simply printed on pieces of paper.
The first scofflaw was caught with plates form New Jersey, the second was riding rogue with plates from Texas at 9:40 a.m., and 10 minutes later, cops caught yet another driver bearing plates from the Garden State — despite all three residing in New York.
They cuffed them on the scene for criminal possession of a forged instrument, a misdemeanor carrying a potential sentence of 364 days behind bars and a $1,000 fine.
The MTA cops used information from electronic license plate readers and tips from fellow Bridge and Tunnel staff to catch the suspects for avoiding the toll that ranges from $6.55–$10.17.
The operation was part of a larger effort to crack down on toll dodgers, according to one senior MTA official.
“This was a targeted initiative that netted three arrests by our Officers in less than an hour,” said Richard Hildebrand, vice president and chief of operations. “Based on intelligence and review of fraudulent use patterns of travel, the result was a fruitful operation that should serve as a message to anyone else trying to evade paying tolls: Don’t do it!”