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New York City Sheriff Seizes More Than 50 Vehicles With Illegal Paper Plates in Queens

Deputy sheriffs impound a car with an illegal paper license in Queens (NYC Sheriff’s Office)

Sept. 8, 2021 By Allie Griffin

The New York City Sheriff’s Office seized dozens of vehicles with bogus and expired paper license plates in Queens last week.

Deputy sheriffs impounded 53 vehicles with counterfeit paper plates on streets in Glendale, Maspeth, Middle Village, Ridgewood, Woodhaven and Woodside Friday as part of a citywide crackdown.

The officers also issued more than 50 summonses for a variety of parking and traffic offenses.

The sale and use of illegal and counterfeit paper license plates proliferated during the pandemic when local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMVs) were shuttered, law enforcement officials said.

The fake plates make it difficult for officers to identify suspects who speed and drive recklessly or commit other crimes.

“Vehicles with illegal paper license plates circumvent a panoply of public safety laws and regulatory programs such as speed, red light, and bus lane cameras,” NYC Sheriff Joseph Fucito said in a statement. “Illegal paper plates conceal a vehicle owner’s true identification from the police when used during the commission of a crime.”

The NYC Sheriff’s Office conducted the Queens raid from midnight to 8 a.m. Friday as part of its 5-borough operation known as “CON-Temporary.”

Through the operation, deputy sheriffs have seized 238 vehicles, issued more than 200 traffic summonses and charged 21 individuals with various crimes related to displaying illegal paper license plates on vehicles since June.

Council Member Robert Holden requested the Sheriff’s Office bring its operation to Queens—and to focus on some of the borough’s trouble spots.

“I requested this enforcement because fake and obscured plates are used to allow scofflaws to get away with reckless, dangerous driving, as well as to commit other crimes,” Holden said. “We need to make it clear that anyone who uses them will pay the price and I will continue to ask for more of these operations.”

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