Sergeant Andy Whitehouse has been in law enforcement for almost 30 years. And in those many decades, he's seen a lot.

He's the cop who came across the man in Holden last summer, who was driving around at night with a mannequin, all dolled up, in the back seat of his car.

I'm sure he's both seen and heard it all. But I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall this weekend when Sgt. Whitehouse pulled this one particular driver over.

As is standard practice when someone in law enforcement pulls someone over for a traffic infraction, Sgt. Whitehouse got the license and registration, and then checked the vehicle's inspection sticker, to see if it was current.

Only in this specific situation, Sgt. Whitehouse, with his keen eye for detail and accuracy, spotted something was a little "off" with the inspection sticker in this case.

Just for reference, here is an accurate and up-to-date Maine Motor Vehicle Inspection Sticker.

Maine Motor Vehicle Inspection Sticker, Cori Skall
Maine Motor Vehicle Inspection Sticker, Cori Skall

Here is the inspection sticker Sgt. Whitehouse was met with when he made his traffic stop Sunday evening.

I'll give them credit for color choice. If Sgt. Whitehouse had simply glanced over at the sticker, it does match the color of last year's stickers quite well.

But Sgt. Whitehouse is a seasoned professional, and as such, he took a closer look.

I'm not sure if it was the "creative" depiction of the Maine State Seal that gave it away at first. But my guess is, that had he not noticed that he most definitely did pick up on the fact that the word "vehicle", you know, that key part of a Vehicle Inspection Sticker, was spelled incorrectly.

Of course, the Holden PD was eager to use the situation as a "teachable moment" and posted this message on their Facebook Page...

"Here's a thought: If you plan on trying to fool the police with your fake inspection sticker, how about at least spelling all the words correctly?"

According to Holden Police Chief, Chris Greeley, that's not the only thing Sgt. Whitehouse discovered.

"He discovered the fraudulent sticker, and the person allegedly responsible was already out-on-bail at the time of the stop."

Chief Greeley says creating a fraudulent inspection sticker does have its consequences.

"POTENTIALLY, the Class E criminal conviction brings a $500.00 fine and 6 months in jail."


We would never recommend that anyone create fraudulent documents. But if this doesn't illustrate the benefits of knowing how to use a good dictionary, or spell-check program, I don't know what does.

Old typewriter with text that contains spelling mistakes, a concept

Remember kids; crime doesn't pay. And spelling always counts!

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