A Long Island City taxi driver has been busted for evading more than $28,000 in tolls by “piggybacking” on cars through Robert F. Kennedy Bridge E-Z Pass lanes.
The cabbie, 69-year-old Rodolfo Sanchez, is accused of crossing the bridge without paying the toll more than 3,000 times over a two-year period, between 2012 and 2010, District Attorney Richard Brown said.
Sanchez was able to avoid the tolls by tailgating the vehicle in front of his yellow cab and letting both cars go through the bridge’s E-Z Pass lanes before the barrier came down, the district attorney said.
He was eventually caught, according to Brown, when it was discovered that an E-Z Pass tag that was previously reported lost, was regularly crossing the bridge’s toll plazas without making a payment. The pass had become invalid in 2011 but it was still emitting a signal to the E-Z Pass readers on the bridge, he said.
Sanchez allegedly told investigators that he knew that the E-Z Pass was no good but he used it because he needed money for his family.
Sanchez was arraigned Thursday and charged with grand larceny, theft of services and criminal possession of stolen property, prosecutors said. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted.