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Smithsburg official charged with making fake vehicle sticker

February 22, 2000|By MARLO BARNHART

SMITHSBURG - Smithsburg Police said a Town Council member has been charged with concocting a phony vehicle validation sticker with his home computer and driving since 1996 without insurance.

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Michael Todd Rohrer, 32, of 23 S. Main St., Smithsburg, was taken into custody shortly after 9 p.m. Monday by Acting Smithsburg Police Chief Michael Neuland, who was on patrol checking vehicles for vandalism.

Noticing that the "01" validation sticker on a vehicle parked behind Town Hall looked homemade, Neuland ran the plate and found it was Rohrer's. He also learned it had been expired since 1996 and had four insurance violations, police alleged.

With that information, Neuland parked in an alley across the street and waited for the operator to show up.

Rohrer, who was elected to the Town Council in May 1998, got into the 1988 Mercury Sable bearing Maryland tags BMN 028, Neuland said.

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Rohrer told Neuland he made the sticker with his home computer because he couldn't afford to put insurance on it, police alleged.

Rohrer was charged with operating an unregistered motor vehicle and fraudulently falsifying validation tabs, both of which are "must appear" offenses in Washington County District Court.

Rohrer also was charged with driving an uninsured motor vehicle and displaying expired registration plates, according to Neuland's police report.

Neuland placed Rohrer under arrest and took him to police headquarters Monday night. After he was issued the four citations, Rohrer was taken to his parents' house and released on personal recognizance, Neuland's report said.

Rohrer couldn't be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon. He did not return a message left on his home answering machine Tuesday evening.

Tommy Bowers, Smithsburg Mayor and former police chief, said Neuland "was an officer doing his job."

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