Diesel Fuel Theft Ring Busted in Tennessee

Diesel Fuel Theft Ring Busted in Tennessee

Police in Hendersonville, TN, blew the cover off a surprisingly sophisticated diesel theft ring.

According to a local report, authorities believe the group has stolen tens of thousands in diesel from local gas stations. One news station is calling the group Diesel Gang, suspected of stealing from gas stations all over the Mid South.

Investigators got their break Nov. 13 at a Thorntons gas station in Hendersonville. Surveillance footage captured a Chevy Silverado and U-Haul van pull up next to each other to pump diesel. While the footage didn't look like much, authorities realized the drivers were working together to pump thousands of gallons of diesel for only a couple of dollars.

The Silverado had been modified to hold about 200 gallons of diesel in tanks sitting in the bed. A pump helped the process go faster so nobody would suspect a thing. In addition, the crew drilled open the gas pumps, somehow without being noticed, and installed a fuel manipulator device, fooling the computer into thinking less fuel was being distributed and at a cheaper rate per gallon.

The crew would return with multiple vehicles, getting as much diesel as they could, and dumping the extra in a tank elsewhere before selling it. Since they were using prepaid gas cards, there was no way to trace the transaction once a station realized what happened.

Watching for the crew to strike again, on Dec. 2, a Hendersonville city LPR camera captured the modified Chevy Silverado on the road. Police immediately found the suspect, 25-year-old Rolando Javier Rodriguez-Denis of Florida, at a gas station. Rodriguez was arrested and charged with theft over $10,000 and vandalism over $1,000.

However, investigators think there are many more people in the operation to catch, so they’re digging through evidence and getting ready to make another move.

We thank Motorious for reprint permission.

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