New York New Jersey Port Authority police arrested three truck drivers at the George Washington Bridge in the span of about two hours and charged them with toll evasion. The drivers had altered or obscured their truck license plates to avoid paying tolls, according to a report in the Fort Lee Patch.
The first arrest occurred just before midnight on Nov. 28, when a Port Authority police officer spotted a tractor-trailer “with the front license plate secured on an angle to obscure the last two characters,” according to Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman, who said that the second character on the rear plate had also been changed from a “J” to a “U.”
Less than an hour later at 12:50 a.m. on Nov. 29, another Port Authority police officer stopped a tractor-trailer “with the fourth character on the truck’s front plate covered with duct tape,” Coleman said.
At 2:05 a.m. Nov. 29, yet another trucker was arrested when Port Authority police noticed a tractor-trailer with the last character of the front license plate allegedly cut off and caulking material obscuring the first character, according to Coleman. “The rear plate was obscured by a low-hanging light housing,” he said.
Arrested were Jose Rodriguez-Lora, 35, of the Bronx; David Galarza Algarin, 37, of Lakeland, FL, and Carl J. Proia, 53, of Woburn, MA, who were charged with theft of services and tampering with government records, Coleman said.
“To date this year, we have arrested 96 people on toll evasion charges,” said Coleman, who said Port Authority police have seen an increase in toll evasion-related arrests this year because of a “focus on cracking down on toll evasion.”