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Truckers steal 350 gallons of fuel by tampering with meter, police say

Courtesy of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Truckers steal 350 gallons of fuel by tampering with meter, police say

By Natalie Crofts | Posted - Aug. 26, 2014 at 2:29 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Two men were arrested on suspicion of stealing 350 gallons of fuel from a truck stop Monday, police said.

Adolpho Fonts, 40, and Orlando Villarta-Mendez, 51, were arrested after a clerk at Love’s Truck Stop, 25 N. Redwood Road, noticed two semi-trucks were taking an unusually long time to pump what seemed to be a small amount of fuel, according to the Salt Lake City Police Department.

“They were tampering with a fuel meter, which caused them to appear to be taking out less fuel than they were actually taking,” said detective Dennis McGowan.

The incident occurred at about 10:52 p.m., police said. The total value of the stolen diesel fuel was $1,370.52, according to probable cause documents. There was also $1,000 worth of damage done to the pump pulsar device and lock.


This was an alert clerk, clearly, who realized these people were out there too long.

–Detective McGowan


Fonts was arrested at the truck stop’s fuel pump on suspicion of theft and criminal mischief. Villarta-Mendez had already departed when police arrived but was located on an I-80 westbound onramp using a description of the truck given by people at the truck stop, according to McGowan. He was also arrested on suspicion of theft and criminal mischief.

Both men were compliant after being interviewed by officers and did not resist arrest, he said. The two trucks were impounded, according to investigators.

Love’s Truck Stop has been victimized by similar fuel thefts in the past, according to McGowan.

“This was an alert clerk, clearly, who realized these people were out there too long for the anticipated small amount of gas they were pumping,” he said.

Photos

Natalie Crofts

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