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In addition to ghost guns, Mayor Eric Adams says NYC cracks down on so-called “ghost cars”

In addition to ghost guns, Mayor Eric Adams says NYC cracks down on so-called "ghost cars"

NEW YORK — Mayor Eric Adams has opened a new front in the fight against crime by ordering police to seize cars with illegal paper plates and arrest the drivers.

As CBS2’s Marcia Kramer reported Tuesday, Hizzoner says the drivers are often up to no good and use the cars to commit violent acts.

We’ve all heard of ghost guns, but now Adams says there are thousands of “ghost cars” on the city streets with fake license plates. He says the drivers are going through red lights, breaking traffic rules and can be found with illegal guns and drugs — and the NYPD will no longer ignore them.

“New Jersey, I’ve always known there was something strange about that place, New Jersey, Alabama, Florida, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas,” the mayor said.

Adams just rattled some of the fake license plates seized by the NYPD and the city sheriff on cars whose drivers turned out to be no good.

The city is now staging a citywide crackdown on ghost cars.

Take the driver of a 2014 Maserati with a fake New Jersey plate, who Adams says was “possessed with a .40-caliber handgun, cracked, suspended driver’s license.”

Or the driver of a white jeep, also with fake New Jersey license plates, “riding on the shoulder, fled from police in the car, then was apprehended on foot with a handgun,” Adams said.

But it’s not just guns and drugs. The mayor, city sheriff Anthony Miranda and NYPD buyer say people with false license plates often break traffic rules, go through red lights, speed through school zones and commit traffic accidents. such as the driver who fled the scene after recently hitting multiple people in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, killing 67-year-old grandmother Lynn Christopher and seriously injuring her 7-year-old grandson.

“The video was horrifying to watch the person flee the scene without regard for the pedestrians he hit,” Adams said.

“Ghost cars often park illegally, raising quality of life concerns that impede traffic flow, block driveways, fire hydrants and even disabled parking spaces,” said Kim Royster, chief of transportation for the NYPD. “And it’s certainly not hard to believe that masking a vehicle’s identity in this way is a tempting idea for someone who might want to plan an act of terrorism.”

Officials say the number of ghost car subpoenas has increased by 300 percent in the past five years — from 893 in 2016 to 3,568 in 2021.

“This is our warning to everyone, this ends today,” Royster said.

Paper plates are legitimately used by dealers to transport cars, or for new residents to the state. They can also be copied and printed at home. Officials are urging anyone who sees a car with paper plates near them to call 311 or 911 and report it.