A tractor-trailer driver was arrested after a California motorcycle cop spotted his fake license plate.
Moorpark Police Senior Deputy David Anaya was assisting another motorist last month when he spotted a semi with a “host of mechanical violations.” The truck also had a phony 1960s-style black plate with yellow wobbly writing of “Califas,” instead of California, and a series of letters and numbers.
“What really caught my eye was the license plate — specifically the lettering on top where he had written ‘Califas,'” Anaya said. “That was what stuck out like a sore thumb.”
Anaya pulled the truck over and noticed that the driver, 41-year-old Jorge Salazar, appeared to be under the influence of narcotics. He saw a small amount of methamphetamine in plain sight and found Salazar had an outstanding warrant for a hit-and-run.
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In addition to the false plate, Salazar was arrested for “driving under the influence, possession of methamphetamine, being an unlicensed driver, and having an active warrant for his arrest,” according to a press release from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office.
Having an altered plate is illegal in the state of California, Anaya said, and the civil penalties for that violation alone can be between $600 and $800.
Salazar was booked into jail but has since been released on bond police told KTLA. The tractor-trailer was towed because it was considered unsafe to drive, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities noted that the department has stepped up its commercial traffic enforcement due to safety concerns and has towed more than 60 tractor-trailers and commercial vehicles since the beginning of last year.
“Deputies from the Moorpark Police Department will continue to enforce the California Vehicle Code with respect to commercial vehicles traveling through the city,” authorities said in a press release. “As stated above, these directed efforts are meant to ensure safe travel for all motorists.”
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