In their line of work, police officers have to be fine-tuned to notice the slightest of differences.

Police
MattGush, Getty Images
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The tell that lets you know a suspect is lying, the slight difference in the weight of the paper that gives away the counterfeit bill, the twitch that foreshadows a perp’s escape attempt – these are all parts of the job that make or break cases and, in some instances, save lives. It’s this attention to minute details that paid off in an Upstate traffic stop over the July 4th holiday weekend.

The Fulton County Sheriff’s Department made a traffic stop on Saturday the 2nd for a suspected DWI. Not only was the suspect confirmed to be inebriated when they were pulled over, officers noticed minute problems with the suspect’s New York emissions inspection sticker that led them to believe it was counterfeit.

Criminal man with handcuffs being interviewed in interrogation room
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Here's the official New York State statue on the matter:

VTL 306

(E) Any person who shall make, issue or knowingly use any imitation or counterfeit of an official certificate of inspection, or who shall possess or display or cause or permit to be displayed upon any motor vehicle any certificate of inspection knowing the same to be fictitious or issued without an inspection or required repairs having been made, or, who unlawfully mutilates a valid certificate of inspection or rejection, or who shall knowingly issue, obtain or present a false statement in connection with a waiver authorized by this article, or who unlawfully removes such a certificate from a motor vehicle.

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For reference, here is a completely legal and official New York State emissions inspection sticker.

Chrissy, Townsquare Media
Chrissy, Townsquare Media
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Got it? Okay, here’s the sticker the Sheriff’s Deputies found, via their Facebook. See if you can spot the subtle nuances that tipped the officers off that something hinky was going on.

Fulton County Sheriffs Department
Fulton County Sheriffs Department
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My favorite things about this:

  1. This was clearly drawn from memory, and not even a good memory. If you can’t even Google what the inspection stickers look like, you can still walk up to essentially any car in New York to get a reference point.
  2. Why is this hand drawn? This is, per the faux sticker, 2022. We have the technology.
  3. The “barcode” at the top is taken from the address sticker from a magazine. I love the baffling ingenuity. It’s like MethGyver.
  4. The scribbled months. The finesse that went into this masterpiece. Thomas Crowne level forgery.
  5. Somehow it makes this other counterfeit one from Mechanicville look really good, and that takes some doing.
Mechanicville Police
Mechanicville Police
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So if you’re thinking about evading the powers-that-be when it comes time to renew your registration, remember: don’t use silver sharpie just get your car inspected legally.

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