Fuel Thieves Siphon 300 Gallons From Underground Tanks Into Van: Police

Thieves parked a van with large drums in the back over a Fontana fuel station's underground tanks

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 11:19 AM PDT
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Fontana Police Department

This van was parked over an underground fuel tank access hole and used to siphon gas from a Fontana station, according to Fontana police.

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Thee men accused of stealing fuel parked a cargo van equipped with large plastic drums over underground tanks to siphon about 300 gallons of gas from a Fontana station, according to investigators.

The men were booked on suspicion of grand theft involving fuel at a Mobil station in the 16000 block of Foothill Boulevard. They were arrested Wednesday after a Fontana police officer noticed the white van that appeared to be siphoning fuel from the station's underground storage tanks.

The men parked over one of the tank access holes, then pumped the fuel through hoses into the plastic containers in the cargo area of the van, according to police. Two other men in a Toyota Camry served as lookouts during the operation, police said.

"They made it look like the van was broken down in the parking lot," according to a police statement.

The men siphoned as much as 300 gallons of fuel over two days this week at the same station. The theft adds up to about $1,210 worth of fuel, based on the AAA Fuel Gauge Report's average price of $4.035 for a gallon of regular fuel Wednesday in the Riverside-San Bernardino area.

Police identified the suspects as Freddrick Hunter, 38, of Rialto; Edward Dawson, 32, of Fontana; and Terry Washington, 42, of Fontana.

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