Three men from Las Vegas, Dallas and Miami were arrested on suspicion of stealing thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from a Hesperia gas station.
The Hesperia Sheriff’s Station reported that on Sept. 10, a gas station in the 15000 block of Ranchero Road in Hesperia reported theft of approximately 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel worth approximately $16,000.
Detectives assumed the investigation and discovered an electronic manipulation device had been inserted into the fuel pump.
Video surveillance from the gas station showed a white Ford F-250 pickup truck bearing Nevada license plates and a white GMC pickup truck bearing a temporary Florida license plate.
Both vehicles contained large fuel tanks installed in the bed of the trucks. Detectives determined the suspects had also used a U-Haul truck during the theft.
The registered owner of the Ford, identified as Rolando Tamayo Tomas, 52, of Las Vegas, was found to be the person who rented the U-Haul truck involved in the theft, sheriff’s officials said.
On Sept. 13, the same suspects, using the same pickup trucks, returned to the business and again stole multiple gallons of diesel fuel, sheriff’s officials reported.
During the second incident, a driver of one of the suspect vehicles fought with an employee who witnessed the theft. The employee was not injured and called 911 to report the incident.
On Sept. 21, investigating detectives found the GMC pickup truck parked in front of a residence in the 17000 block of C Street in downtown Victorville.
A search warrant of the residence was authored and executed at the location, where Luis Fernandez Cueria, 32, of Dallas, and Carlos Tejeda Pereira, 28, Miami, were arrested for the suspected theft.
While detectives were at the residence, Tomas drove by in the white Ford and was detained and arrested.
Evidence was located at the residence, including the vehicles and tanks used in the thefts and an electronic device used to manipulate fuel pump electronic systems.
All three suspects were arrested and booked at High Desert Detention Center in Adelanto for grand theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft.
Phelan, Pinon Hills gasoline theft
On Sept. 21, two Orange County men were arrested on suspicion of stealing approximately 200 gallons of gasoline from Shell Gas Stations in Pinon Hills and Phelan.
The Victor Valley Station said that at 2:43 a.m. on Wednesday, deputies responded to a 911 call of two men stealing gas from the station at 8900 Beekley Road in Pinon Hills.
Upon arrival, Deputy J. Mora found Daniel Ramossantoyo and Andres Berruete still with their truck at the gas pump. Both men are 23 years old and from Santa Ana.
Deputy Mora discovered that the suspects had pried open the gas pump and used a device to override the pump to siphon the gasoline.
Their truck had been equipped with a large gas tank hidden inside the covered bed of their truck.
Through further investigation, Deputy Mora connected the suspects with a previous grand theft at a Shell Gas Station in Phelan earlier in the week.
Theft at Snowline Joint Unified School District
In April, Snowline Joint Unified School District officials reported the theft of nearly 2,000 gallons of diesel fuel, an estimated value of over $12,000, from underground storage tanks.
The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department asked for the public's help in identifying those responsible for the grand theft after a lock was cut on the gate of the SJUSD Transportation yard at 9558 Wilson Ranch Road in Phelan.
The transportation yard is south of Phelan Road and near The Heritage School.
The Sheriff’s Department urges anyone with information regarding the Hesperia incident to contact the Hesperia Sheriff’s Station at 760-947-1500. Callers wishing to remain anonymous should contact the We-Tip Hotline at 800-78-CRIME (27463) or visit wetip.com.
This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: 3 men suspected of stealing 3K gallons of diesel fuel in Hesperia