Travis Coley, 19, thought he had it made. Last year the Bronx native got a gig working as a toll collector on the Throgs Neck Bridge and allegedly started swiping change almost immediately. As he put it in a confession: “I figured out this scheme from my training and my experience in the toll booth,” and “when I realized that I would not get caught doing it, I continued to do it for months.” Except he did get caught, and now he is facing up to seven years in prison for stealing roughly $16,000 in tolls.
Coley's trick was about as basic as they get. When a truck would come to pay its toll Coley would charge the correct amount (trucks are charged by axel) and give out handwritten receipts if they were asked for. Then he'd record a smaller amount into the books and pocket the difference. He started the scam about a month after starting the job and hit up over 100 cars a day. “It was a stupid thing to do and I regret doing it and I don’t have the money to pay it back” he said in his confession.
He was eventually caught when an audit found videotape discrepancies between what he was recording and reality. Despite his confession (“It was a stupid thing to do and I regret doing it and I don’t have the money to pay it back.”) Coley pled not guilty to charges of felony grand larceny, criminal possession of stolen property, falsifying business records, and a misdemeanor charge for official misconduct. He is expected back in court in March.