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For Whom the Bridge Trolls

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On: Mon, Apr 28, 2014 at 10:24AM | By: Karen Cook

For Whom the Bridge Trolls

Several weeks ago I found myself in traffic on a three-lane interstate inching forward with long intervals not moving at all. I don’t do well in these situations. I wasn’t far from my destination, however, and after taking almost an hour to move less than a mile, I finally left the mess behind and took my exit. Except it wasn’t my exit. It was one exit shy of the one I wanted. This wouldn’t have been much of a problem except that this exit led me onto a toll road. Also not a big deal except this toll booth was unmanned, accepted only exact change or EZ-pass and I had neither. I am awaiting my bill in the mail.

But this story isn’t about me. It’s about a Mr. Rodolfo Sanchez of Long Island City, Queens. Once upon a time, in 2010, Mr. Sanchez (who, by the way, is a taxi driver) found an EZ-pass device in a taxi he was driving. Knowing that it probably didn’t have any funds on it he devised another way to utilize it to his advantage. He had to cross the Robert F Kennedy Bridge quite frequently in order to get to the Bronx and Manhattan. This bridge had a nasty troll, I mean toll, which had to be paid. Wanting to keep the toll money for his family (as he later stated) he put the device in his window and simply followed close behind the car in front of him to scoot through before the barrier came down. Easy as pie! And it worked, until he got caught.

Enter our villain(?), Mr. Joseph Gugliero who works for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The EZ-pass device had been reported stolen and had expired in 2011. Finding activity on it, Mr. Gugliero did a little research. The device was gathering information even though it did little else. He found that it had gone through the toll booth 3,017 times between August 4th, 2012 and March 28th, 2014. The lost revenue amounted to $28,242.50. It’s understandable that Mr. Sanchez didn’t want to pay the troll so much money.

Unfortunately the state was not so compassionate. Mr. Sanchez now faces charges of third degree grand larceny, theft of services, and criminal possession of stolen property. If he is convicted he faces seven years in prison.

The End.

Oh, if you want a moral, pay the small troll at the bridge. When the large troll finds you, it gets a lot more expensive.


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