JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WKBW) — It’s the latest post-covid online scam that’s causing concern for local law enforcement.
According to police, people are purchasing legal paper license plates from so called “car dealerships” in Texas and using them on their New York vehicles.
“A lot of these places in Texas are in small lots, registering thousands of vehicles per day,” said Captain Robert Samuelson of Jamestown Police.
Captain Samuelson says Jamestown Police arrested two people after a three-month long investigation for possessing forged vehicle registrations. 22 year-old Jonathan Comacho-Monge and 20 year-old Cheyanna Wright are accused of buying a paper license plate from a Texas dealer and using it on their cars.
What makes this illegal police say is using these plates on a New York vehicle that was not bought in Texas and never was physically in Texas.
“These people are avoiding registration, tolls, inspection,” Captain Samuelson said.
Erie County DA John Flynn says this scam could cost the state millions in lost revenue. It’s a problem Buffalo Police say they dealt with a lot last year.
The only way it would be legal to have an out-of-state paper license plate and registration police say is if that vehicle was purchased at a physical dealership in that state, and then driven to New York.
BPD says it is now dealing with another issue.
“People are buying dealer plates online and putting them on cars,” said Deputy Chief Joe Gramaglia.
And they say this is a felony.
“The dealer plates are being purchased off fake social media websites,” said Erie County District Attorney John Flynn.