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Veteran fights tolls after crook steals license plate from his business van in Town ‘n’ Country

Better Call Behnken

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Jose Maldonado had a tough March. He discovered he has lung cancer, then his business was forced to shut down because of the pandemic.

After surgery to remove a lung, he had to isolate inside his home for a month. When he was able to check on his Town ‘n’ Country taekwondo business, TNC Academy, in June, he discovered that a crook had stolen the license plate from one of his after-school pickup vans.

“I could’t believe someone would do that,” Maldonado said. “I guess they thought the van was an easy target because so many businesses here were closed for the pandemic”

He filed a police report and went to the DMV for a new tag. But things got worse.

Maldonado is now receiving toll violations for the crook. The violations show a white car with his tag on various roads around Tampa Bay.

He thought fixing this issue would be easy. He called the number on his bills and says he submitted his police report and proof that he had acquired a replacement tag. But even that wasn’t enough.

“It’s not about the $30. It is about the action of them and the way I was treated,” Maldonado said. “The person that I spoke to was rude over the phone, pretty much treated me like I was lying to them…The last conversation I had with him was, ‘Either you pay or we just suspend your license.'”

Maldonado turned to Better Call Behnken.

Maldonado drives the vans to pick up children from school and says he worries his business will be impacted.

“Can you imagine if I was pulled over with kids in the van and then had a problem with my license?”

Investigative Consumer Reporter Shannon Behnken called the Tampa Hillsborough Expressway Authority and was told this would be looked into.

Maldonado then received a call from a representative who said if he sent his police report – again – they may be able to cancel the charges.

Better Call Behnken will stay on this story until this situation is resolved.

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Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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