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A Texas man with almost $5,500 in unpaid parking tickets was arrested after deputies discovered he had been using a license plate flipper to conceal his license plate and avoid tolls.
Deputies with Harris County Constable Precinct 4 pulled a vehicle being driven by Preston Cody Talbot, 27, over Thursday after the car failed to pay a toll along North Sam Houston Parkway West.
The deputies discovered the license plate flipper—which acts much like something out of a spy movie by switching from the license plate number to a black sheet at the flip of a button—on Talbot’s vehicle.
"He would activate this device, putting a flipper down in front of his license plate, so the cameras at toll plazas couldn’t read his plate,” Constable Mark Herman told KHOU.
The device, which operates by a remote control, is illegal in the state of Texas although it can be found online for $200 to $300.
Deputies also discovered Talbot had been prohibited from driving a vehicle on the toll road because of failing to pay $5,473.07 in toll fees, deputies said in a statement.
Talbot was taken to Harris County Jail and charged with possession of a license plate flipper. He was released after posting a $100 bond but could face additional charges related to his unpaid toll fees.
The nearly $5,500 in unpaid fees is equivalent to driving around the entire tollway more than 600 times, according to the Houston Chronicle.
The suspect’s mother, Becki Morgan, told the local station she was not aware her son used the device.
“Obviously, it was a stupid mistake,” she said.
She doesn’t believe it is one he’ll make again.
“I have a Texas tag on my car and do everything legally,” she said. “I’m not interested in shorting the system and wasn’t aware that my son was.”
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