I’m just going to say right up front that while I know what this guy did is wrong, I admire his cheapskate ingenuity, and I think it’s too harsh a penalty to take away his Geo Metro. Here’s the guy’s crime: he rigged a license-plate flipper to avoid paying tolls. In Canada.
Last December, an especially sharp-eyed RCMP officer noticed a 1993 Geo Metro with no license plate crossing the comically-named Golden Ears Bridge in Vancouver. While watching the car, the Mountie was surprised to see a valid British Colombia license plate slide into place. What unholy sorcery was afoot?
It wasn’t sorcery, it was a wonderfully low-rent Q-Division pull-cable setup that let 49 year-old Gregory Murray hide his license plate on demand from toll cameras. Canadian police discovered the system when they followed him and saw the magic happen.
According to the Vancouver Sun,
Gregory Murray, a 49-year-old Port Coquitlam man, was charged with two counts of fraud under $5,000 on Aug. 6.
The car, a 1993 Geo Metro, has been seized, and police are applying to have it forfeited to the provincial government as offence-related property.
“This serves as a reminder to anyone actively trying to defeat the toll system that it is a criminal offence and that you could lose your vehicle and face charges,” said Schumann.
They want him to forfeit his ‘93 Metro for this? I mean, yes, the guy broke the law, but can’t they just charge him for the tolls and make him pay a fine? It seems like a guy so cheap and/or broke to be doing this — and in a Metro — probably isn’t in the best position to be looking for a new car.
Maybe I’m being too soft because I sort of like the guy’s inane ingenuity. I also find a little ridiculous that picture from the RCMP showing the little wire-loop cable being held by the hand in a surgical glove. It feels like they’re trying to make this little cable-rig seem terrifying and deathly serious, like it was a cable that launched heroin darts at children in playgrounds.
Oh well. I guess there’s a lesson here — don’t use your home-made license-plate hiding system if you even think there’s a cop behind you. Don’t get cocky; don’t lose your head.
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