New York City taxi driver Rodolfo Sanchez used an E-ZPass reported lost in 2011 and the close quarters that New Yorkers are used to, in order to save himself $28,000 in 18 months. During 1,061 crossings of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and 3,071 passages through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, instead of paying the toll at the tollbooth, Sanchez would tailgate the vehicle in front of him and get past the barrier before it came down. He kept the E-ZPass in his car because every NYC taxi driver is obligated to have one.
Turns out the transponder is what got him caught, since it never stopped transmitting a signal every time it went through the toll booth. When Metropolitan Transportation Authority officers (MTA) noticed numerous pings from an E-ZPass with no money on it, they matched up video footage with the cabs in the photos, then matched the cabs to taxi company records showing Sanchez was the man behind the wheel. Now under arrest, prosecutors have charged him with grand larceny, theft of service and criminal possession of stolen property.
Sanchez said he needed the money for his family, but now he'll have to figure out who's going to fill the family coffers when he goes to jail.