Tallahassee Man Arrested for Pirating Gasoline
A Tallahassee man was arrested by Florida’s Office of Agricultural Law Enforcement (OALE) for allegedly stealing gasoline from various gas stations in the Tallahassee area. He faces 32 individual criminal counts related to retail fuel theft across Central Florida. The 28-year-old suspect was taken into custody after a joint operation by the OALE and Osceola County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) according to a news release published by The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
In this case, the investigation began at a RaceTrac gas station located in Kissimmee that reported significant losses related to fuel theft. The defendant was caught on camera and identified as a suspect in the case. He returned to the same gas station and was seen tampering with the pulser dispenser, allegedly stealing gasoline from the station. He is currently being held on a $60,000 bond.
Understanding retail fuel theft charges
It’s obviously unlawful to steal, but retail fuel theft is a relatively new crime that investigators are quick to prosecute. In this case, the defendant is facing upwards of 30 charges related to the theft of gasoline from at least one gas station. Some of the charges he is facing include obtaining fuel fraudulently, computer crime to defraud, criminal mischief, and organized scheme to defraud.
In executing a retail fuel theft, the perpetrators will manipulate the fuel pump itself to distribute more fuel than it should for a lower overall price. In this case, law enforcement is literally throwing the book at the defendant by charging him with every potential crime you can commit when fiddling with a gas station fuel pump. He has only been charged with stealing fuel twice, but he is facing upwards of 30 discrete charges related to the theft of fuel, the manipulation of the pulser dispenser, the attempt to commit fraud, and more. Law enforcement is taking this crime very seriously as more individuals are attempting to defraud gas stations in retail gas theft crimes.
Obtaining fuel fraudulent, or unlawful conveyance of fuel
Florida Statute Section 316.80 covers the unlawful conveyance of fuel or retail fuel theft as it is called by local law enforcement officials. The law makes it a felony in the second degree to use devices that trick the pulser device into distributing more fuel than it is supposed to. Second-degree felonies are punishable by up to 15 years in state prison and hefty fines. The law also requires that the perpetrator make restitution to the gas station for the damage caused to the fuel tank. The defendant was also charged with criminal mischief, a property crime, for manipulating the fuel tank to distribute more fuel. In this case, the defendant only stole fuel twice from the same gas station, was caught on surveillance, and is now facing upwards of 30 charges related to committing two criminal acts.
Talk to a Retail Fuel Theft Attorney in Tallahassee
If you have been charged with retail fuel theft, you will need a strong Tallahassee criminal lawyer to fight the absurd amount of charges you will face in relation to the crime. Call Luke Newman, P.A. today to schedule an appointment, and we can begin discussing your defense strategy right away.