Three truck drivers were charged at the George Washington Bridge in the span of about two hours late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning in connection with alleged attempts to evade tolls, authorities said.
“To date this year, we have arrested 96 people on toll evasion charges,” said Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman.
The first of the most recent incidents occurred just before midnight on Wednesday, when Port Authority Police Officer George Kwiecinski was patrolling the GWB’s main toll plaza and spotted a 2003 Freightliner tractor-trailer “with the front license plate secured on an angle to obscure the last two characters,” Coleman said, adding that the second character on the rear plate had allegedly been changed from a “J” to a “U.”
Jose Rodriguez-Lora, 35, of the Bronx was charged with theft of services and tampering with government records, according to the Port Authority.
At 12:50 a.m. Thursday, less than an hour later, Police Officer Raymond Rodriguez of the Port Authority was on patrol in the same location, when he stopped a 1997 Volvo tractor-trailer “with the fourth character on the truck’s front plate covered with duct tape,” Coleman said.
Port Authority police charged David Galarza Algarin, 37, of Lakeland, Fla. with theft of services and tampering with government records.
Also arrested at the main toll plaza in connection with the same charges slightly more than an hour later was Carl J. Proia, 53, of Woburn, Mass., Coleman said.
Port Authority Police Officer Edwin Berdecia at 2:05 a.m. Thursday noticed a 1999 Freightliner tractor-trailer with last character of the front license plate allegedly cut off and caulking material allegedly obscuring the first character, according to Coleman.
“The rear plate was obscured by a low-hanging light housing,” said Coleman, who previously told Patch Port Authority police have seen an increase in toll evasion-related arrests this year because of a “focus on cracking down on toll evasion.”
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