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Man used remote control device to hide license plate from tolls, Harris County deputies say

Preston Talbot now owes $5,400 after he used an electronic "license plate flipper" to hide his real license plate, deputy constables say.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas — A Houston-area man was arrested after deputy constables say he was avoiding paying tolls by using a device that flips and conceals his license plate.

Preston Cody Talbot is charged with possession of a "license plate flipper," according to The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office. The driver is said to owe more than $5,400 in tolls.

A deputy pulled Talbot over when they said he failed to pay a toll in the 8000 block of the North Sam Houston Parkway West. During the traffic stop, deputies found the license plate flipper on the rear of the vehicle.

RELATED: In Texas it's illegal to buy, sell or own a 'license plate flipper'

"He would activate this device, putting a flipper down in front of his license plate, so the cameras at toll plazas couldn’t read his plate,” said Constable Mark Herman.

Credit: Precinct 4
The Harris County Precinct 4 Constable’s Office charged Preston Cody Talbot with possession of a license plate flipper.

“Obviously, this was a stupid mistake,” Becki Morgan, his mother, told KHOU 11 News.

The electronic device allows a driver to flip between two license plates at a touch of a button in a 180-degree fashion. That means a driver can flash a different plate when traveling through a toll to avoid getting photographed and penalized for not paying.

Flippers are for sale on various websites for $200 to $300, but they’re illegal to possess or use in Texas.

That’s something Morgan believes her son won’t be doing again.

“I have a Texas tag on my car and do everything legally,” Morgan said. “I’m not interested in shorting the system and wasn’t aware that my son was.”

“This is a very unique case,” Herman said. “You don’t see cases like this every day.”

Talbot was charged with a misdemeanor and already bonded out. He could face additional charges related to all of those unpaid toll fees.


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