Fake Paper Disks Cause Real Problems and Cost Millions of Texas Dollars

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) – Invalid paper plates are running rampant in the state of Texas. The state of Texas is one of the worst in the country, and Harris County is the worst in the state, according to officials.

Sgt. Jose Escribeano, of the Travis County Office of Association’s 3rd District license plate task force, said there are at least 1.8 million fraudulent papers on Texas roads. It’s also a conservative number, he said.

When asked if he had seen a lot of illegal number plates, Houston police officers stole the car, Sgt. Tracy Hicks said, “A lot is an overstatement.”

Hicks said it has gotten worse locally over the past five years. Fake signs have become a way for criminals to hide their identities.

According to Hicks, almost all of the crimes he commits involve fake documents.

“I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Doing surveillance for bad guys, they’ll pull into a restaurant parking lot, remove the front panel, throw it in the trunk, remove the back panel, or just take the fake,” Hicks said. cross the street, commit their crime or whatever they’re going to do, drive down the road a few miles and go back to their regular number plates.”

In July, 17-year-old David Castro was fatally shot in a road rage incident after leaving an Astros game with his father and brother.

The following month, New Orleans police detectives Everett Briscoe and Dyrin ‘DJ’ Riculfy were shot in the courtyard of the Grotto restaurant in the Galleria area. Both are dead.

In each case, the suspects had license plates on the cars used in the murders. They were caught on surveillance video.

Police have issued a plea to the public to help locate the suspects. Those cases have caught our city’s attention, but they’re certainly not the only ones.

Surveillance cameras captured Sandra Garcia’s wallet being robbed in April in the northern part of the city. Garcia said the men tracked her about 15 miles from a bank in the southwest of the city.

Garcia said: “He was trying to pull it and I pressed hard and he pulled me. “He dragged me until he left with it.”

The suspects obtained Garcia’s wallet, which contained $10,000 in cash. The suspects who robbed her have yet to be caught. Both vehicles involved had license plates, according to the Houston police department’s anti-robbery division.

“When a concerned resident said, ‘Why aren’t there any police running these signs?’ They’re in the middle of calls when they can, and 9 out of 10 of them are not OK,” Hicks explained. “Probably out of those 10 people have fake documents, they do it because they can’t get the title or don’t have money to fix the car. Just give them the proof that they have done it. There is no money to fix their car. . Giving them a $400 ticket because you don’t have a good subscription isn’t going to help them.”

There are a number of reasons why people drive with invalid cards.

To get a license plate, the vehicle must be registered. The DMV says you’ll be blocked from registration if a vehicle doesn’t pass an inspection or emissions test. Other reasons are if the owner has not paid fines, fees, taxes or tolls, or if they are flagged for not paying child support.

Law enforcement says it’s safe to assume that many vehicles without valid license plates do not carry valid insurance. While there is insurance for uninsured drivers, being in an accident with an uninsured driver can add to your monthly costs.

“Depending on the claim, it could be $100 to $1,200 a year,” said Donna Baker, an insurance agent affiliated with Texan Insurance.

In addition to costing other drivers additional costs, this problem also costs the state government millions of dollars. With at least 1.8 million cars statewide without real number plates on their cars, the state is losing about $125 million in registration fees each year.

Untested “ghost cars” can blatantly pass through toll booths without paying.

Between September 2020 and 2021, the Fort Bend County Toll Collection Agency said 968,688 cars with invalid number plates passed through its 14 toll stations.

TxDOT operates a portion of the Grand Parkway with 14 toll booths. Data from the agency showed that 772,724 cars with invalid number plates were driving on their roads.

The Harris County toll collection agency said it had 412,285 cars with untraceable number plates during the same time period. They operate 121 toll booths.

In response to a question about how their data compares to others, an HCTRA spokesperson said, “We cannot speak to other toll collection agency data. The data we provide is vehicle count. met the criteria went on the HCTRA system on the requested dates with paper discs that could not be linked to the owner.”

The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles declined an interview about the matter that is baffling the state.

Friday, they will hold a roundtable discussion in Austin. A spokesman said they have received numerous requests for interviews from the media. They said the former was not the right time to comment.

“The funny thing is that this problem doesn’t really happen in other states like it does in Texas,” Sgt. Hicks said. “It has a lot to do with accessibility to be able to do that. I don’t know what the answer is with the DMV.”

For more on this story, follow Mycah Hatfield on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Copyright © 2021 KTRK-TV. Copyright Registered. Fake Paper Disks Cause Real Problems and Cost Millions of Texas Dollars

Dais Johnston

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