Travis Coley, a 19-year-old Bronx-dweller, stole $16,000 worth of cash from the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority while working as a toll booth collector at the Throgs Neck bridge. The simple, but long con lasted from September 20th until Tuesday, when Coley was caught. “I took the money to help out my mom,” he said, according to the criminal court complaint. “[I]t was a stupid thing to do and I regret doing it.” But some of the blame must go to the city, whose ever-increasing toll prices open up the possibility of a such a lucrative scam.
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The sticky-fingered cheat was assigned to a “cash only” booth, where he would underreport the money he took in from tolls, pocketing the difference.
“I would charge the motorist the appropriate toll amount and pocket the difference between the correct toll amount for the vehicle and the wrong amount I purposely entered into the computer system,” Coley said, according to the criminal court complaint.
Coley cheated the TBTA by swiping cash from multi-axle vehicles, some of which must pay a $30 toll. He entered false vehicle information into the computer while about 100 vehicles cruised by his lane. When drivers asked for a receipt, Coley gave them a phony handwritten one, according to authorities.
“I knew what I was doing was wrong and I wanted to stop but I didn’t,” said the kid, who was charged with grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property and falsifying business records. He’s so grounded.