PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Miami man is in custody after police in Port St. Lucie said he gained access to the inner workings of a fuel pump, stealing nearly $2,000 worth of diesel.
Officers said they responded to a 7-Eleven located in St. Lucie West Boulevard on Thursday after employees received a fraud alert of an in-progress fuel theft at their store.
When officers arrived, police said they spotted the suspect still pumping fuel into a spare gas tank in the bed of his pickup truck.
The suspect, identified as Jose Barrios Pizarro, 29, jumped behind the wheel to flee the scene but was taken into custody by officers.
Police said Pizarro had a key, which officers found in a nearby trash can, that allowed him to access to the inner electronic parts of the fuel pump.
Investigators said Pizarro had installed a controllable manipulation device, which made it possible for him to steal large amounts of diesel for a small percentage of the cost.
Investigators said the total loss for the store was $1,967 and 658 gallons of diesel during three separate incidents and days.
Pizarro of Miami faces charges of grand theft, organized scheme to defraud and accessing a computer without authority.