MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police say they’ve seized dozens of fake temporary car tags in recent weeks, including some from a government employee.
Many of the temporary drive-out tags you see on Shelby County roadways could be bogus. Law enforcement has told WREG it’s a real and growing concern, one we first warned you about in July.
Memphis Police Colonel Keith Watson says they’ve been fighting back through their “Slow Down Memphis” operation.
For the past few weeks, they’ve placed more law enforcement along busy roads and interstates to crack down on reckless driving, illegal drag racing and interstate shootings.
Watson says many times, the vehicles involved have fake tags to go undetected and make it harder for police to catch them.
Between August 16 and 22, police involved in the operation seized 43 fake drive-out tags.
One was one from Roy Sims, who was pulled over in South Memphis for apparently having an expired, fake drive out tag on a car “reported stolen from Marion, Arkansas.”
Police say they also found eight forged Tennessee temp tags in a man’s car when they pulled him over in Uptown. They say they discovered another bogus tag taped to another man’s vehicle on I-40, confiscated seven more in a driver’s trunk on Sam Cooper and seized a counterfeit tag flapping on a Lexus on Interstate 240.
And then there’s the arrest that happened mid-August on I-40 near Watkins.
Police pulled over Nikolas Rolack — a U.S. postman off-duty in his personal car — and found his mail bag and hat, marijuana, $1,700 in cash, a scale, “baggies labeled with a cannabis leaf,” a loaded gun and six fraudulent temporary tags.
The USPS says it’s aware of the matter and is investigating further.
Rolack reportedly told police he had the tags because he buys cars from online auctions, and “when he sells the cars, he has to give them something to put on the cars.”
Watson says the tags are being sold in social circles, on social media and even on the street corner.
“We see some of these temporary fake tags being made at home using a computer or computer software,” he said.
Some are using them to skirt around taxes and registration fees.
That’s exactly what Shelby County Clerk Wanda Halbert told us was her main concern this summer. She says folks skirting taxes and registration fees are stealing from the community.
“That money goes to our children and funding their education needs,” she said.
Halbert told us she continues to report what she knows and sees to the state.
The Tennessee Department of Revenue confirmed they’ve been in contact with her and other state agencies and local police.
If you are caught with a fake tag, you could face felony charges, Watson said. MPD says they’re going to continue to track how many fake tags they seize in this operation.