Fuel prices are high and nearly all drivers are feeling the squeeze at the pump. According to the Oregon State Police, a 37-year-old Homestead, Florida truck driver used a dummy fuel tank to steal hundreds of gallons of diesel.
According to Oregon Live, Alexy Romero Perez used an elaborate system to steal fuel.
“Apparently the device hooks up to the fuel pump and stops the pump from registering gallons,” Oregon State Police Spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings said.
Perez was caught on April 17, 2013, by Oregon CVM inspector Richard Goins who became suspicious when he was inspecting Perez’s truck at the port of entry on Interstate 84 in Ontario.
Goins, a 25-year CMV inspector, noticed an unusually placed fuel tank under the trailer of the truck. Goins suspected the tank may have contained illegal drugs, so he notified state police drug enforcement officers, Oregon Live reported.
Drug enforcement officers inspected the tank, then contacted a trooper who was attending a training class. That officer then informed the training instructor of what was found. The instructor told the enforcement officers that it was possible the tank was being used to store stolen fuel since there were no fuel lines running to or from it.
Inspectors obtained a search warrant and found that the tank contained 140 gallons of fuel. Additionally, they found a device that Perez allegedly used to trick the gas pump and stop it from counting how many gallons were being pumped. Inspectors also found a fuel receipt for 1.5 gallons of diesel fuel. Detectives believe Perez had actually gotten 100 gallons of fuel.
On Thursday, Perez was arrested. He was released on bail on Friday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on April 30.