Diesel Thefts Continue Land Line State

Over the past five weeks, reports have shown that diesel prices have been steadily falling across the country. Reports of alleged diesel theft have not followed the same trajectory.

In June, Land Line reported diesel thefts in several states that may be due to rising diesel prices, local authorities said.

More recently, alleged diesel thefts have been reported in Florida and Nevada.

Fraud in Florida

The scheme in Florida was discovered at a 7-Eleven on Tamiami Trail in Lee County.

Law enforcement was called to the scene by Asset Protection who advised them of suspicious activity at one of the fuel pumps.

Detectives from the Southern District Criminal Investigation Division have determined that a man, Edson Escalona and a woman, Tanilexis Tortolo, worked together to manipulate the pumps and used their own theft devices to do so.

According to WFTX-TV’s report, it was confirmed by 7-Eleven employees as well as Asset Protection that the theft included a tractor-trailer buying 15 gallons of diesel but pumping out 200 gallons, a black pickup truck paying 6 gallons of fuel but pumping 150 gallons, and a silver truck buying 6 gallons, but pumping 98 gallons.

“This couple thought they could go into Lee County and steal hundreds of gallons of fuel,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno posted on the Lee County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page. “On average, fuel costs $4.05 a gallon, and companies can’t afford that loss.”

Escalona and Tortolo were charged with fuel by fraudulent means.

Las Vegas Heist

Terrible Herbst contacted authorities in Las Vegas regarding multi-day diesel shortages at their Jean, Nevada location.

A report by KSNV-TV said 684 gallons of diesel were short on July 20 and another 1,815 gallons were short on July 21. The unaccounted diesel was equivalent to $11,531 in sales.
The report states that a fuel supply official discovered that one of the pumps was open and that a Pulsar device, which can modify the computer so that the fuel dispensed is not tracked correctly, was at inside.

Detectives discovered a van truck similar to a vehicle involved in fuel thefts in the Las Vegas Valley, and potentially Arizona, through CCTV.

Additionally, local police were notified on July 22 of an active fuel theft at the same pump, where officers intercepted the truck.

Miguel Fernandez-Alvarez was found at the pump when police arrived and was arrested. A key fob was found on his person that matched key fobs used for other Pulsar devices.

The truck was also searched and fancy hoses, electric pumps, hoses, nozzles and four large white containers containing approximately 500 gallons of fuel each were found, the arrest report said.

Fernandez-Alvarez was convicted on suspicion of criminal interference with computers and disregard for the safety of any person or property. According to reports, other charges may be pending.

Fernandez-Alvarez has posted bond and is due in court on August 23. LL

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