Killeen (FOX44) – Two men have been arrested following the theft of almost $1,000 worth of diesel fuel obtained by tricking a fuel pump at a Killeen convenience store.
It was on Tuesday about 11:30 a.m. when Killeen Police were called to the 7-11 convenience store at 1001 Willow Springs Road for a theft in progress.
It was discovered that an electronic device had been set up to bypass the fuel pump flow meter.
On arrival, officers observed a man, since identified as 45-year-old Michel Avalos of Austin, pumping diesel from pump #12 into an external tank in the back of a pickup truck.
Officers made contact with him, they reportedly discovered there was a device installed behind the panel of the pump that stopped the meter from reading how much fuel was being pumped, even though the mechanical pump was allowing fuel to come out the end of the nozzle.
Officer recovered a remote control device that could turn the bypass device for the meter on and off with the push of a button, allowing the pump to be used normally be other customers, but allowing those who had installed the device to come back at any future time and use it to fool the pump.
Detectives then learned that a second vehicle, also a pickup truck with a modified external fuel pump, had just left the same station and had used the same pump #12.
Officers were able to locate the suspect driver and conducted a traffic stop, identifying the second suspect as 36-year-old Raudel Ledesma-Diaz of Troy.
Upon inspection of the vehicle, officers found there was diesel fuel in external tanks and several five-gallon water jugs that appeared to have been recently filled.
Officers were able to determine that 167.4 gallons of diesel valued at $928.17 had been taken from that same pump at the store immediately prior to Avalos’ arrival, indicating the bypass device had already been in place.
Both suspects were arrested on felony charges of unlawful use of a criminal instrument and both remained in the Bell County Jail Friday under $50,000 bond each.