FHP: man used remote-controlled license plate shield to avoid tolls

ORLANDO, Fla. (WSVN) — Now you see it, now you don’t.

While the Florida Highway Patrol has seen all sorts of ways that drivers have tried to get away with not paying tolls, one central Florida man’s method had them doing a double take.

“We’ve seen people hang out the back of cars to put their hand over it, we’ve seen motorcycles take different routes through the express lanes to avoid the camera, people intentionally cover their tags, semi trucks block their tags,” FHP Sgt. Kim Montes told Fox 35.

But Joshua Concepcion-West took it to the next level with a remote-controlled device that rolled a black sheet over his license plate with just the push of a button. And FHP said he could have gotten away with it, if he hadn’t used it with a trooper driving right behind him.

By blocking the tag, Florida’s SunPass system can’t send a bill for the toll. Of course, that also makes it illegal. Concepcion-West was pulled over immediately after the trooper spotted the device in-use as they drove through a toll plaza.

“He was subsequently arrested for petty theft and also for cheating,” Sgt. Montes said.

It turns out the cheating charge is a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a $5,000 fine. And FHP says they don’t know how many times Concepcion-West has used the plate-covering contraption.

“So for $1.25 toll, he now has a felony charge,” Montes said. “We want to let people know it’s not worth it. Pay the toll or don’t use the road.”

Watch video of the device in action, from Fox 35 in Orlando:

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