Woman hit with red-light camera tickets after plates were stolen

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FARMINGVILLE -

A Farmingville woman says she is being forced to pay red light camera tickets, even though her license plate was stolen and it's not her car in the images. 

Gina Neile says someone stole the license plate from her Jeep in March. The thief apparently put Neile's license plate on his vehicle and repeatedly ran red lights over the next two months.

"I proceeded to get a total of seven red light tickets in the mail from the person driving with my license plate," Neile says.

Armed with police reports about the stolen plate and photos showing it wasn't her Jeep that ran the red light, Neile went to traffic court to clear her name. She says the judge threw out one of the tickets because the video showed the light wasn't red when the car passed it.

But he found her liable for the other six tickets, each of which carries an $89 fine.

"He did not give me an explanation," she says of the judge. "He was pretty rude to me when I asked him for an explanation, because whatever he said was final."

Still, she says the judge acknowledged that the videos did not show her vehicle.

"He acknowledged it wasn't my vehicle," she says. "He acknowledged it wasn't me driving. So why would you hold me liable when I wasn't even there?"

The executive director of Suffolk's Traffic and Parking Violation Agency says Neile should only be responsible for tickets received before she filed a police report about the stolen plates.

"Any tickets received after she filed the police report would not be her responsibility," he says.

Neile says she plans to keep up the fight because she shouldn't be responsible for paying for someone else's crime.

"I'm the victim," she says.

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