The Florida Toll Road Bandit has a nice ring to it.

Toll roads are a pain, but at least those who drive on them all pay their fair share. Well, almost everyone. In the U.S. one Florida driver, driving a burgundy Chrysler Pacifica MPV, was caught red-handed cheating the system to avoid paying tolls. The video, captured by a couple from another vehicle, shows a motorised black cover concealing the license plate as the car passes through toll stations. Once the driver clears the cameras, the black cover rolls up, revealing the license plate once again. 

The couple that captured the video, Sammy and Mayte Salinas, shared it with a Miami news station, which then shared the video with the Florida Highway Patrol. 

'It’s not fair. We all have to pay tolls, so why not him?' Sammy said in an interview with CBS4 News. 'That’s what the reason for the Sunpass is, for everybody that’s using the highways, so we all have to pay tolls on it.' The Sunpass is an electronic toll collection system that uses a windscreen-mounted RFID transponder to debit payments.

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When the TV station shared the video with Trooper Joe Sanchez, he remarked, “Wow. Incredible. They’re getting very creative.” He added the Florida Highway Patrol has never seen something like this before. 

You can easily find license plate covers online. Typically, they work by having a rolled up cover in a license plate frame, allowing the driver to lower and raise the cover via remote control. Sanchez advises drivers against investing in such a device. In Florida, the minimum fine for obscuring your license plate is $179 (£135), according to CBS4 News.

It’s not clear if the driver in this specific case has been caught. However, the police do have his actual license plate number, so it’s only a matter of time before he’s arrested. Sanchez notes the Florida Department of Transportation can identify offending cars and go after owners for prior debts. If this Pacifica driver has been using the plate for awhile, he could rack up thousands of dollars in unpaid tolls. 

As the saying goes, crime never pays. 

Source: CBS4 News Miami, ViralHog via YouTube