New York cab driver saves fortune on toll fees by “piggybacking”

A New York cab driver saved himself $28,000 in toll fees by “piggybacking” on the driver in front of him.

Rodolfo Sanchez is said to have traveled a thousand times over the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and made three thousand trips through the Queens-Midtown Tunnel…without paying a cent to the toll booths.

Queens prosecutors charged Sanchez, 69, with grand larceny, theft of service and criminal possession of stolen property for a scheme that began in August 2012 and ended Wednesday at 3:40 p.m.

Indeed, Sanchez said he got the idea, according to prosecutors, by watching other drivers doing the same trick: tailgating a car and slipping through the tollbooth before the barrier came back down.

From that point, Mr. Sanchez told investigators, he was “able to cross without making toll payments,” according to the complaint.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which manages both crossings and conducted the investigation into Mr. Sanchez, declined to discuss how many New Yorkers try to beat the toll in this way — the equivalent of squeezing into a subway turnstile with an unsuspecting paying rider.

“We certainly don’t want to encourage people to do this,” said Judie Glave, a spokeswoman for the authority.

A lawyer for Mr. Sanchez did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Sanchez is said to have told investigators: “I needed the money for my family.”

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