Texas police have arrested eight people and are seeking several others connected to a large-scale diesel fuel theft operation.
According to a May 24 news release from the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center, sixteen suspects have been charged with first degree felony charges of Engaging in Organized Crime and Evading Motor Fuel Tax.
Eight of the suspects have been arrested, and another eight remain at large.
Authorities believe that between February and October 2022, the suspects engaged in more than 60 acts of diesel fuel theft, stealing more than 100,000 gallons of fuel from retailers.
“According to law enforcement, the theft ring illegally entered fuel pumps and manipulated the system that measures the amount of fuel being dispersed to show significantly smaller purchases than what was actually dispensed. The suspects then coordinated efforts to pump and steal the fuel, which was taken to truck yards that illegally stored and sold the stolen fuel to truck drivers at a discounted rate and without charging the required state motor fuels tax,” the news release stated.
“These crimes drive up prices at the pump, undercut legitimate carriers in the trucking industry by providing an unfair price advantage to people purchasing stolen fuel, and circumvent taxes that should be paid to the State of Texas,” the release states.
If convicted, the suspects face up to 99 years in prison.
If you have information on the whereabouts of the eight suspects still at large, you’re asked to call the Manvel Police Department at 281-489-1212.
Investigating agencies include the Manvel Police Department, the Texas Financial Crimes Intelligence Center, the Houston Police Department, the Pearland Police Department, the Brazoria County Sheriff’s Office, the Baytown Police Department, the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Rosenberg Police Department, Brenham Police Department, Friendswood Police Department and the Brazoria County District Attorney’s Office.