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Port Authority police discover trucker using license plate gizmo to avoid toll

Photo Credit: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD
Photo Credit: PORT AUTHORITY PD

BEYOND BERGEN: A truck driver devised a contraption that allowed him to pull a strap to lift up his license plate as he passed through a tollbooth without paying, in an attempt to avoid getting caught on camera, Port Authority police said.

PAPD Officer Ed Benenati spotted the gizmo in action and stopped 33-year-old Eric Mark Bonhommer at the Goethals Bridge yesterday afternoon.

The 1977 Freightliner had no cargo, the authority’s Joseph Pentangelo said.

As it rolled through the toll lane in Elizabeth, he said, the front license plate “swung up.”

Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

Benenati followed the truck and pulled it over, after which Bonhommer “admitted that he had pulled the plate up to avoid the toll,” Pentangelo said.

The plate was on a hinge, with a strap threaded through a rubber tube that snaked through the truck body to the driver’s cabin near the steering column, he said.

Bonhommer hurriedly tried to remove it, “destroying the elaborate contraption,” once he knew he was caught, Pentangelo said.

He said Bonhommer told Benenati that he “pulled the plate because he didn’t know his EZPass balance.”

PAPD police impounded the truck, which Pentangelo said belongs to a relative of Bonhommer’s, and arrested him on charges of theft and tampering with evidence.

IMAGES: Courtesy PORT AUTHORITY PD

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