Truck drivers siphoned off more than $30,000 in fuel

Posted at 7:20 PM, Oct 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-10-15 20:51:24-04

PRINCE GEORGE COUNTY, Va. (WTVR)--Tractor trailer drivers stopping to fill up their tanks can easily run up tabs around $600 dollars.

One local Prince George business said that over a four month period, they lost more than $30,000 dollars in diesel fuel. Police said that they believe two drivers are responsible for some of the loss.

They used a simple plan that’s been pulled all around the country. Before the damage is even discovered, they’ve driven off with hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel. They don’t make off totally free, but they certainly don’t pay full price.

Store employees said that they lost more than 7,800 gallons, which is over 30,000 dollars.  

"They were pumping hundreds of gallons worth of fuel here and the actual register was only showing 30 gallons, so they may have pumped 300 galls but only actually recorded 30,” Lt. Paul Burroughs, Prince George County Police, said.

“They're breaking open the sides, after they get it started and busting off the pulsars, some are actually carrying their own pulsars, and swapping it out, they're just damaging the pumps big time,” Jim Campbell, Baird Petroleum Equipment, said.

The owners, who said the theft—losses they first noticed in June—is devastating for their business.

"It’s upsetting that we lost so much, you know, we working so hard, everyone working so hard, and then this happens; it’s devastating,” Tina Marie Manly, an employee, said.

The owners called police to investigate on Sept. 10. Shortly after that, something caught the owners eye and they called police.

"It was a couple of days later, on the 15th, they observed these same two trucks, same pumps, pull back in,” Lt. Paul Burroughs, with Prince George County Police, said.

Police arrived and arrested two drivers from Florida. A small device was confiscated that is used to manipulate the pumps.

Six of them are so damaged that they can’t be used until repaired.

 "I've worked on 3 of them, with in the last month, that were manipulated and before that, the guy that came out with me, told me he worked on 2 of the others,” Campbell said.  

The two drivers face four felonies each, two grand larceny charges and two for tampering with pumps.