An Orlando man is accused of using a device planted in a gas pump to steal hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel from a local Wawa.
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Orlando police officers responded to the gas station on Narcoossee Rd. just after 4 p.m. Tuesday after a manager called to report a gas theft that was still in progress.
The manager described a man in a maroon pickup truck parked at one of the pumps.
The responding officers said they could see the suspect, later identified as 39-year-old Luis Almonte-Luciano, standing on the driver's side of the truck dispensing fuel into a large tank on the truck bed.
The officers used their cruisers to block the truck from moving and placed Almonte-Luciano in handcuffs while they continued their investigation.
After talking to the manager who called and interviewing a loss prevention advisor for the store, police learned Almonte-Luciano had paid for just over 6 gallons of diesel fuel, but had pumped more than 200 gallons into the container on the back of the truck
The loss prevention advisor told police he first learned about the theft from an email alert that warns him any time a certain amount of diesel fuel is dispensed in a single transaction.
The advisor also told police there was likely a device installed in the pump that would make it appear to be pumping less fuel than it actually was.
The advisor checked all the pumps and confirmed there was a suspicious device in the one Almonte-Luciano was seen using. The device included a remote control that would activate it, according to police.
The device was removed from the pump and handed over to OPD for evidence.
According to his arrest report, Almonte-Luciano chose not to comment when officers tried to interview him.
In all, police say he pumped 202 gallons of diesel fuel worth $930, but only paid for six gallons.
Almonte-Luciano was charged with grand theft, unlawful conveyance of fuel, and accessing a computer or electronic device without authorization. He's since been released from jail on $1,000 bond.
Police say their investigation is ongoing.
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