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Police: Stuart 'business watch' program lands diesel thieves behind bars

Posted at 12:57 PM, Mar 18, 2019

STUART, Fla. — Stuart police say they arrested two men who used stolen credit cards to buy diesel fuel.

Police said 33-year-old Maikal Carballo and 30 year-old Richard Granda-Aloma went to several area gas stations and bought approximately 1,400 gallons of diesel with fraudulent credit cards.

They loaded the fuel into concealed tanks inside of two trucks, according to investigators.

WATCH POLICE UNCOVER HIDDEN TANKS INSIDE TRUCKS:

According to arrest reports, police were notified on March 10 by a woman in Georgia that her American Express credit card had been used at least four times in Stuart to buy nearly $600 in fuel.

Upon investigation, Stuart police said they observed Carballo and Granada using a stolen card to fill up a tank hidden inside a Ford F-250 at a Citgo gas station, located at 884 S.E. Federal Highway, on March 15.

Detectives said they were able to locate Carballo and Granada from a tip through the police department's new 'business watch' program.

"This is very much organized crime," Officer Cory Lee said on Monday as investigators searched the two trucks, uncovering the hidden fuel tanks as well as 15 to 20 stolen credit cards. "These folks go back to Miami or wherever they sell it, and sell the diesel fuel for half the price."

Police said when they stopped Carballo, he claimed he found the cards in Miami. Officers recovered two wallets from Carballo, one of which had nine fraudulent BP gift cards, according to police.

Police said two other wallets were found on Granda-Aloma who had five fraudulent credit cards, each with a different victim's account number.

According to a police report, Granda-Aloma told investigators he takes the fuel to Miami and sells it for approximately $1 per gallon.

"It's really up to citizens to be observant," said Officer Lee. "Seeing something funny on your account, immediately let law enforcement know so we can start tracking this."

Both Granda-Aloma and Carballo are being held in the Martin County Jail on several charges including fraudulent use of a credit card, scheme to defraud, and unlawful conveyance of fuel.