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MTA Bridge and Tunnel officers issue 81 summonses, seize 2 fraudulent license plates at Queens Midtown Tunnel

Several arrested as task force cracks down on illegal license plates
Several arrested as task force cracks down on illegal license plates 02:10

NEW YORK -- The MTA is cracking down on toll evaders at bridges and tunnels across New York City.

Officers conducted a major operation at the Queens Midtown Tunnel on Monday. They stopped 19 vehicles registered to persistent toll violators, and they issued 81 summonses and seized two fraudulent license plates.

The MTA says those drivers accounted for a total of nearly half a million dollars in unpaid tolls and fees. One driver alone owed $76,000.

"These offenders are stealing money from the public's pockets when they illegally use our bridges and tunnels. It's not fair when drivers in expensive sports cars skip out on thousands of dollars in tolls, and New Yorkers are tired of it," MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Catherine Sheridan said in a statement.

Tools used to identify toll violators include DMV registration suspensions, roadside interdictions and data-driven intelligence to continuously identify persistent toll violators, according to the MTA.

Last week, enforcement agencies across the region conducted joint operations at other area crossings that resulted in 10 arrests, 45 vehicle seizures and 307 summonses issued.

The MTA says operations were also conducted at the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge and the George Washington Bridge, which resulted in 15 arrests, 58 vehicle seizures and 356 summonses issued.

Since the beginning of the year, Bridge and Tunnel officers have issued over 3,000 summonses for covered or obstructed license plates.

So-called "ghost vehicles" are being targeted by a new task force made up of MTA Bridges and Tunnels, the NYPD, the New York City Sheriff's Office, Port Authority Police and the Department of Motor Vehicles. Earlier this month, the task force had dozens of vehicles towed and made eight arrests.

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