Tolls for thee, but not for them? These 2 owed a combined $131,000, cops say
Authorities say two New Jersey drivers owe more than $131,000 combined in unpaid toll fees after passing through E-ZPass lanes hundreds of times without paying.
Denise Simien, 55, of Verona, and Spiridon Fragoulias, 45, of Colts Neck were both arrested during motor vehicle stops during which police learned that they owed thousands in unpaid tolls.
According to Port Authority spokesperson Joe Pentangelo, Simien was apprehended Wednesday morning following a motor vehicle stop near the Holland Tunnel entrance. Authorities say Simien was seen traveling east in a 2007 Toyota SUV. Upon learning that she owed E-ZPass more than $16,000, Port Authority police "signaled and verbally instructed" her to stop.
"The suspect looked at the uniformed officer and continued east, ignoring the officer's instructions," Pentangelo said in a statement Wednesday.
The driver was then pulled over by another Port Authority officer and authorities confirmed that her vehicle had passed through E-ZPass toll lanes at Port Authority crossings more than 250 times without paying. According to Pentangelo, Simien owed a total of $16,663 in unpaid tolls. She was arrested and charged with theft of service and obstruction of justice. She was released with a July 19 court date.
Fragoulias owed an even higher amount of unpaid toll fees, according to NJ State Police. The 45-year-old tow truck driver was pulled over last Thursday at about 10 a.m. near the Goethals Bridge by Port Authority Police Officer Ed Benenati.
NJ State police say Fragoulias failed to pay his tolls over a two-year period. The unpaid tolls and fees totaled $115,663, police said in a statement.
"He thought the bill would never come but now he knows you can run but you cannot hide from the toll keepers," NJ State Police said.
Fragoulias was arrested and charged with theft and theft of service. He transported to the Middlessex County Correctional Facility in lieu of $50,000 bail.
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Toniann Antonelli is a social content producer for NJ 101.5. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.