Ever wonder just how much trouble you might get into if you didn’t pay the toll at the plaza? Well, let’s just say you run the risk of getting a citation if you do it once. If you keep doing it and rack up $25,000 worth of unpaid tolls you are likely to be hauled off to the pokey the next time you are pulled over by police and they run your record.

This week Benjamin McClellan was arrested at the Goethals Bridge after going through the toll plaza without paying. Police noticed that he had changed to characters on his license plate with black electrical tape. He also had a suspended license for an unpaid traffic ticket. A subsequent investigation determined that he had allegedly run up $25,000 in unpaid tolls at bridges in all five boroughs.

He has been arraigned on theft of services, driving without a license and other charges. Bail has not yet been set and no attorney named, so for now, McClellan isn’t talking.

It might seem like a minor thing to evade paying a tool. Or maybe you just like “sticking it to the man” every now and then. But consider yourself warned: police and toll authorities take it very seriously when someone evades paying the toll. The money collected in tolls go toward costs of building or maintaining roads and bridges. If you don’t pay you are actually stealing from the rest of the drivers who are paying.

Do yourself a favor and just pay the toll. It helps if you know in advance how much the toll will be and have exact change ready. If you regularly use a toll road consider getting a monthly pass. This will make your trip through the toll plaza faster and sometimes you can get one for a discount if you pay in advance.