In the Port Authority police’s ongoing crackdown on jitney buses, two drivers, one from Bayonne and the other from Paterson, were busted for $57,000 in fines yesterday, officials said.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
Rainy Bekhit, 41, of Bayonne, and Carlos Rojas, 53, of Paterson, were both charged with theft of service and theft by unlawful taking, according to Port Authority police spokesman Joe Pentangelo.
Around 4:10 p.m. yesterday, Port Authority Police Officer Nick D’Agostino was on duty at the Lincoln Tunnel in Weehawken when he saw the suspect, a known toll evader, driving a white Chevrolet bus westbound exiting the center tube, authorities said.
D’Agostino pulled the suspect over and verified that he owed over $26,350 in outstanding tolls and fees (approximately $8,650 in tolls and $17,700 in fees) from over 323 known violations, police said. Bekhit was placed under arrest and his vehicle was impounded.
Twenty minutes later, at about 4:30 p.m., Port Authority Police Officer Mike Fusco, also on duty at the Lincoln Tunnel, saw another suspect operating a white Jitney bus driving up to the toll plaza in Weehawken, officials said.
Fusco knew the vehicle and license plate matched a habitual EZPass toll violator, prompting him to conduct a stop and interview the driver, authorities said.
An investigation indicated that the suspect owed over $31,000 in tolls and fees from 351 known violations. Rojas was then placed under arrest and his bus was impounded, police said.