Trucker Used James Bond-Like Device To Beat Tolls, Police Say
Semitrucks are hardly the stealthiest of vehicles, so making an 18-wheeler disappear can be quite the trick.
But that's exactly what a Virginia man allegedly did -- at least to the eyes of electronic toll cameras on the George Washington Bridge connecting New Jersey and New York -- by using a cable mechanism to make his truck's front license plate invisible.
Officials have charged the driver of a big rig with three violations for allegedly trying to dodge the $65 bridge toll as he hauled a load of iron pipes north on Interstate 95 in the E-Z Pass Lane, the New York Post reported Thursday.
The incident in question took place Saturday at around 6:30 a.m., when a Port Authority police officer reported witnessing the plate disappear and reappear.
According to police, Nelson Vaquiz, 36, a self-employed truck owner, was then pulled over and officers discovered a cable that ran from the truck cab to the license plate, enabling the plate to disappear.
"There was a cable in his front cab to retract the front plate," an unnamed source told the Post. "Once he's past the security cameras, he drops the plate back down."
The truck's rear license plate was bent to obscure it from cameras, also preventing detection, sources said.
Vaquiz was charged with theft of service, possession of burglar tools and eluding, the newspaper reported, noting that his Peterbilt tractor-trailer was impounded.
The Post, citing public records, also reported that Vaquiz has an extensive record of driving violations, including speeding, keeping a radar detector and operating an uninspected vehicle, among others.
Vaquiz's device could be modeled on one used by James Bond, the savvy fictional English spy who drove an Aston Martin DB5 with a revolving license plate, featured primarily in the 1964 movie "Goldfinger."
Unknown is whether Vaquiz's truck cab was equipped with another device featured in Bond's car: a passenger seat capable of ejecting unwanted passengers.
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David Schepp has spent more than a dozen years covering business news for the electronic and print media, including Dow Jones Newswires, BBC News, Gannett Co., and most recently at AOL's DailyFinance. Nearly 10 years ago, he started writing a weekly People@Work column, looking in depth at issues facing workers in today's workplace. The syndicated column appeared in newspapers and websites nationwide before it made its debut on DailyFinance in 2010. Schepp now continues that tradition at Aol Jobs, covering the jobs beat and providing readers insight and analysis into the nation's challenging employment scene.
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