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Nearly 100 Fake Car Inspection Stickers Found In Long Island Village

BABYLON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Police in Babylon, Long Island issued a warning Tuesday about an alleged car safety scam with a potential danger for anyone on the streets.

As CBS2's Jennifer McLogan reported, they found dozens of cars with bogus inspection stickers on their windshields. Babylon Village Code Enforcement Officer Paul Schulhaus said they have found 93 phony stickers for both 2015 and 2016.

About half of the fake stickers were found at the Long Island Rail Road parking lot in Babylon, according to village officials. Counterfeit stickers also have been found in Brookhaven and Islip.

90 Fake Car Inspection Stickers Found In LI Village

The sophisticated imitations are replete with bar coding, serial numbers, coloring, and printing that simulate the real thing.

Babylon Code Enforcement Officer William Whittier said a legitimate sticker goes for $37, but fake stickers go for more than $200.

"They're mass produced, it's not somebody making a photocopy on their computer," Schulhaus told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera. "Somebody is doing it and distributing it kind of widely and we suspect it's probably not just on Long Island."

A fake sticker could help a car owner avoid costly repairs – brakes, mufflers, emissions and tires. But it could be endangering the lives of pedestrians, cyclists and other drivers' wheels fly and brakes fail.

"It can be dangerous, because you could be riding in a car that is hazardous," one woman said.

"It is something to worry about," a driver, named Chris, told WCBS 880's Mike Xirinachs. "It could break down in the middle of the road and somebody could get into a really bad car accident."

"There's a lot of cars on Long Island and it could be unsafe," another driver, named Paul, said.

Dozens Of Fake Car Inspection Stickers Found In Long Island Village

The Babylon LIRR lot where many of the fake stickers were found is one of the busiest on the South Shore of Long Island – drawing commuters from other locales. Schulhaus said some of the imitations are blurry and the color fades or bleeds.

Suffolk County police were investigating after reports of the fraud in Babylon spread to Islip and Brookhaven. Consequences for those who are caught are dire.

"They can be charged with a Class D felony, which is criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree," said Suffolk County police Chief William Madigan.

If it is proven that a defendant knowingly possessed, produced or sold the phony stickers, that person could be sentenced to two and a half to seven years in prison.

Suffolk County Police report they've made 14 arrests and given out 51 summonses so far, Rivera reported.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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