A man who rigged a moving license plate on his car to evade tolls on the Golden Ears Bridge was caught by a sharp-eyed RCMP officer.
In December last year, an off-duty officer with the Surrey RCMP Criminal Collision Investigation Team was driving towards Maple Ridge across the bridge from Langley.
The officer noted that the car didn’t seem to have a license plate, said Cpl. Scotty Schumann, spokesperson for the Surrey RCMP.
“Officers are always looking for uninsured vehicles,” said Schumann. “The officer was very surprised when he saw a valid B.C. license plate magically lift into place after they had passed the toll cameras.”
The officer took down the license plate number and started making inquiries.
Officers identified the registered owner, and later the driver of the car. Police followed the driver again and watched the plate drop down to avoid the toll cameras, then spring back up again when the car was past them.
Police pulled the driver over and arrested the driver for fraud.
A search of the car turned up a cable system to manipulate the license plate.
Photos released by the Surrey RCMP show that a wire ran from the plate to the driver’s seat. The driver could pull on the plate to pull it up on a hinge.
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.