With gas prices skyrocketing all across the country, there has been a major uptick in the number of reported gas thefts. These thefts take the form of folks using devices to trick the pump into discharging more gas than it’s supposed to or by pumping gas as low as $1.10 a gallon. Now, two suspects are accused of installing the device at a local gas station and using the high-tech devices to steal hundreds of dollars worth of diesel fuel. They will face charges of theft.
Police are more aware of retail gas theft now
With an uptick in the number of thefts reported from gas stations, police are keeping a watchful eye on trucks carrying tanks. In the case mentioned above, the make and model of a vehicle that reportedly stole gas was found at another gas station being watched by an unmarked police car. A vehicle that had been reported before apparently filled up a transportable tank in the bed of the pickup while another vehicle waited behind it. Even though there were several other pumps available, the second pickup truck waited for the first vehicle to finish up so that they could use the same pump. Additionally, an undercover officer reported that the license plate of the vehicle was obscured by a black covering. The defendants were allegedly wearing latex gloves while pumping the gas.
As the two vehicles drove away from the gas station, other officers conducted a traffic stop. The store has a record of the transaction which billed a credit card $1.10 for the gas. Upon inspection of the pump, it was discovered that the door had been pried open and that the gas station’s pulsar device (which regulates the flow of gas) had been replaced with another device. To avoid the problem from being caught too quickly, the culprits were able to control their pulsar device through remote control. The remote control was found in the possession of one of the defendants. A prepaid card was used to pay for the gas.
Both men have been charged with grand theft, unlawful conveyance of fuel, and tampering with an electronic device. It is also typical in these cases for the defendant to be charged with criminal mischief for destroying the business’s property and otherwise interfering with its business.
These cases are largely new, so it can be difficult to say what the penalty will be for these defendants. However, the fact that electronic manipulation was used to perpetrate a theft against a gas station isn’t going to favor them at sentencing. In fact, the government can use this as the basis to extend their sentences considerably.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
Charged with gas theft in West Palm Beach? Call the West Palm Beach criminal lawyers at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. today to schedule an appointment and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.