Truck Driver Pulls A ‘James Bond’ On Port Authority At George Washington Bridge

Cops: Specially Rigged License Plate Made To Flip Up To Avoid $65 Toll

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Toll cheaters and toll cheating scams cost the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey millions every year.

But as CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport found out Thursday, the latest scam is reminiscent of Bond – James Bond.

It’s as if he had license to cheat.

“I think this is the most ingenious,” Port Authority Police Deputy Chief Keith Walcott said.

WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond Reports

Walcott was referring to perhaps the most brazen way ever to cheat the E-ZPass system.

Police said on Saturday 36-year-old Nelson Vaquiz of Beaverdam, Va., at the helm of a big rig, pulled a tricky “now you see it, now you don’t” with his license plate at the George Washington Bridge toll to avoid paying the $65 fare, rigging up a system that flipped his license plate as he crossed through the gateless toll to avoid being photographed by cameras.

“He hooked a cable up to his license plate, which gave him the ability to, once he got into the toll lane, he could pull the cable. That would make his license plate go up where the toll cameras could not read it and he would drive through the lane,” Deputy Chief Walcott said.

“Once you pull the license plate up the E-ZPass toll camera cannot read our license plate, so there’s no way to trace the vehicle that just went through,” Deputy Chief Walcott said.

However, an eagle-eyed officer saw it all and the driver was pulled over and arrested.

Police said Vaquiz broke the law to be sure with his rigged license plate, but reaction among drivers Rapoport talked to Thursday was more like praise for the high-tech scofflaw.

“Where can I get one of those?” one person asked.

“I think he’s pretty smart actually, given the $65,” another said.

“I mean he broke the law. You gotta pay,” said another.

The Port Authority said it has lost $14 million to fare cheaters in a two-year period and now the message couldn’t be clearer.

The driver was charged with theft of service, possession of burglary tools and eluding arrest. He’s free on $5,000 bail.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • Count Yob

    If the NY area bridge and tunnel tolls weren’t so excessive there would be less incentive to cheat. The Port Authority shouldn’t be in the business of building skyscrapers in Manhattan and paying for them by ripping off motorists at the tollbooth.

    • Babbo

      EXACTLY right!!!!!

  • michaelfury
  • michaelfury
  • Steve

    65.00 to cross a bridge? How much to jump? Why not just make plates up? I mean its not like making counterfeit money, and then take them off after you cross the bridge and put your REAL plates back on (Too bad I’m not a crook…)

  • I HATE ezPass Toll Hikes $12, its a shame


  • Junior

    Now paying $65 to cross that POS bridge is a crime! This is why this country is going down the pooper, when a guy working for almost nothing has to pay $65 to cross some stinking butt bridge. “F” the Port Authority and MTA and all the other crooks that are being allowed to legally rape the taxpayer with no consequences. March on the GWB, I would love to see that. What would they do if 10,000+ walked out on the bridge and sat down? That isi a lot of $$$$ they would lose, and if we did it at all the bridges and tunnels into NYC, we could esentially stop this city.

  • jm

    Boycott the bridges and tunnels for a few days disrupting e-commerce lets see how much the Port Authority of NY & NJ lose. Be smart park in Jersey City save $12 and pay $8 for parking rather than $20-30 in the city. Let’s keep overpaying these uneducated crooks to collect tolls and go on coffee/donut breaks. Amazing the PA allows one toll collector to make 155K a few years ago by working all holidays that are double time and half. Any questions????

    • Jean Poole

      Then the guy retired on the inflated salary.

  • pete

    He was just robbing the robbers! All these MTA people are not better than he is. The only difference is that they get a big bonus and spend their vacations in Scotland for screwing the Taxpayer, and this poor guy may have to spend some time in jail. He has my admiration!

  • VF

    The few billion they need will be collected in a month then they should roll it back down. The Governors and Port Authority Execs know this.
    Let’s all scream at the same time and then request an Audit and the penalty should be jail.

  • IgnoranteElephante

    The real crime is the $65 toll that is going to go up to $105 in 2016. This is ludacris. The states are next to each other. Thank you Cuomo and Christie for intervening to save us from the “Draconian” toll increase. It was all a scam, so the tolls could be increased while saving political face.

    The solution is that no one should pay the toll. They would be powerless, and the Authority would be bankrupted and dissolved in no time.

  • bb

    105 dollaRS WOW

  • Frostie

    Why is he in trouble and not the Port Authority for ripping
    people off everyday ?
    Why is Port Authority money being used for the WTC anyway ?

    • Kris

      1. Boo hoo. Suck it up, cheapskate.
      2. Port Authority owns the WTC, that’s why.

      • Junior

        And what does the WTC have to do with transportation??? They are diverting highway and roadway funds, period. The MTA are crimiinals.

  • iggy

    if there isn’t enough money to rebuild. stop rebuilding. or cut the plans down to affordability

  • Bman

    PS: TAke the plates off is an aweosme idea man!

  • Bman

    Its ashame he got caught!
    The MTA and Port Authoirty have been riping off the public hand over fist, Theyve been priniting 10 of millions of $ on a dialy basis and everyear charge more and more money.. question, how does the ex head of the MTA, a public transporation enitiy (P.Kalilkow) own a fleet of F^%King ferrai’s is what I wanna know? .. These guys are lining their own pockets for a while now..
    I encourrage everyone to fight the MTA and find ways to counter the blatant rip off of our citizens… any reactions?

  • walt

    Occupy E-z pass lane is next?

  • Phouse44

    $65, let alone $105 to cross a bridge is a total rip off…Port Authority should be ashamed.

  • mj

    good for him too bad hegot caught

  • Take the plates off

    Everyone should take there plates off for a day of protest they cannot stop everyone.

  • goblin

    What did the Port Authority expect when they keep raping people? You think car tolls are high? You should see what an 18 wheeled semi has to pay to cross a bridge.

    • KPMc

      “You think car tolls are high? You should see what an 18 wheeled semi has to pay to cross a bridge.”

      Ummm… $65? It’s written in the article. Reading comprehension isn’t your strong suit, is it?

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live