Man Arrested for Using Device to Hide License Plate, Owes $5,400 in Tolls

April 12, 2019 Updated: April 12, 2019

A Texas man has been arrested after police caught him using a device that flips and hides his license plate to avoid paying tolls, police said.

Preston Cody Talbot, 28, was arrested during a traffic stop on April 11, after an officer from Harris County Constable Precinct 4 stopped Talbot’s vehicle for failing to pay a toll in the 8000 block of the North Sam Houston Parkway West, according to a statement.


Posted by Mark Herman, Harris County Constable Precinct 4 on Friday, April 12, 2019

During the search, the officer discovered that Talbot was using a license plate flipper, which was installed on the rear of the vehicle. A license plate flipper allows a vehicle to change between two license plates, by rotating the plates 180 degrees with a push of a button, according to a website that sells the device.

This means a driver can use two license plates and hide one of them within seconds.

Deputies said that after further investigation, they found that Talbot was prohibited to operate a vehicle on the toll road due to his failure to pay tolls. He had already owed $5,473.07.

Talbot was booked into Harris County Jail charged with possession of a license plate flipper. His bond was set at $100,000.

According to Texas Transportation Code Section 504.9465 (b), a person commits an offense if the person with criminal negligence purchases or possesses a license plate flipper.

Moreover, it is also a criminal offense to manufacture, sell, offer to sell, or distribute a license plate flipper in the state.

In a similar case in 2017, a Florida man, Joshua Concepcion-West, 27, was arrested for installing a device that shielded his license plate when going through a toll.

SERIOUSLY? An Orange County man was arrested for reportedly installing this license plate shield on his car to avoid paying tolls. Full Story >>

Posted by ABC Action News – WFTS – Tampa Bay on Friday, January 13, 2017

The device Concepcion-West installed was not a license plate flipper but rather a type of “curtain” that would cover the plate using the push of a button.

Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Kim Montes told ABC News that “after he cleared the toll booth, the tag cover came back up and the tag was exposed again.”

“Because the tag was obscured, we don’t know yet how many times this vehicle has run the toll, so we don’t know how much money he’s stolen from the state,” Montes said.

The 27-year-old faced a felony for failing to pay a $1.25 toll, according to the news broadcaster.

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