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#1 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:32 AM

Fuel-theft rings fill South Florida roads with 'moving bombs'
By MARIO ARIZA
SOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL
NOV 11, 2019 | 6:00 AM

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These criminals lug huge amounts of stolen gas across South Florida's roadways, hiding hundreds of gallons in modified trucks and SUVs.

Authorities refer to the gas thieves' converted trucks as moving bombs because of the hazard they pose if one were to crash and explode. "They're out there, they're so common — trying to blend with people who go to work every day," said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Alexis Otano. "God forbid one of these vehicles gets into an accident."

And officials say the gas theft has been on the rise.

Such fuel pilfering cases are up in Broward County, with 16 people charged so far this year compared with 10 last year. Between 2013 and 2017, only seven were charged. The Florida Highway Patrol's Troop E, which patrols Miami-Dade County, has seen a proliferation, detaining more than 30 vehicles with so-called fuel bladders, or concealed fuel compartments, in the two years since troopers ran across their first modified truck.

In several cases, authorities view trying to bust fuel-theft rings as a cat-and-mouse game. And they say they're dealing with well-organized gangs of inventive diesel thieves. The gas thieves use bogus credit cards to buy the gasoline from stations, then find people willing to buy the fuel at below-market rates.

"It's like the mafia," says Broward Sheriff's Office Detective Ryan Zimber. "They help each other out."

It has led to some dramatic encounters on the road for police.

On a cold October night in 2016, two police officers spied 10 pickup drivers acting strange at a North West Miami gas station. Most of the men were pumping fuel — but into their truck beds, not into their gas tanks. The officers found that suspicious. They flicked their cop car's lights on and approached the station, causing the pickups to scatter like roaches in the dark.

Four drivers couldn't get away. As officers approached, they saw that one — Yuniet Fuentes — had a handgun in his pants, and they watched him toss a small Louis Vuitton bag onto the ground.

Fuentes was arrested. Inside the bag officers found 16 gift cards, each encoded with stolen credit card numbers. Yunior Rodriguez Rivero, the driver of another truck, had 64 stolen credit cards on him.

Fuentes is now serving a 2˝-year sentence in federal prison for the credit card fraud, and Rivero was sentenced to time served for the same crime.

Several recent cases involving gas theft and fraud also have led to charges in federal court. Representatives of the U.S. Attorney's Office in South Florida identified 10 cases involving credit card fraud and fuel theft in the past two years.

Last Wednesday, Raul Morgan Borrego was sentenced to five years of probation after being caught fueling a bladder truck in April. He had used four stolen credit cards to purchase the diesel. On Monday, court documents indicate that another man, Alexander Arguelles, is expected to plead guilty in Fort Lauderdale federal court in a similar but unrelated case.

'Mobile gas stations'

Since pulling over his first bladder truck in 2017, Trooper Otano has become an expert in identifying the modified trucks as they trundle down South Florida's roads, laden with stolen diesel fuel.

According to him, the trucks function like "mobile gas stations," their drivers using stolen credit card numbers to siphon off gas for free and then resell it to truckers in depots or to construction companies and tradesmen.

The thieves often steal the credit card numbers from other gas pumps with devices called skimmers, which, once illegally installed, can transmit customers' financial information via text message.

(snip)

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#2 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 07:34 AM

If they chose, gas stations could upgrade all of their pumps like one of my local grocery store chains (HEB) has. The pumps automatically deactivate when the door is opened and cannot be reactivated except by authorized personnel. This would eliminate the threat from the majority of the skimmers which are placed inside. The external skimmers are easy to spot and remove.
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#3 User is offline   Taggart Transcontinental 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 08:34 AM

So these are rolling bombs? All 16 of them? I mean this is hardly a crime wave with 16 found in 11 months. Just another hype story to allow the government to crack down on things that you don't find important. In coward county wake me up when they arrest 100 of these guys.
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#4 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:19 PM

Yuniet Fuentes
Yunior Rodriguez Rivero
Raul Morgan Borrego
Alexander Arguelles

Hmmm........I sense a pattern here......

<_<
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#5 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:24 PM

Is it me or does the majority crime, social, or most anything else that makes Florida look bad come out of Broward county? I mean, what the hell separates that county from the rest of the state? Do they get their drinking water from an old toxic waste dump?
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#6 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:27 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 November 2019 - 07:34 AM, said:

If they chose, gas stations could upgrade all of their pumps like one of my local grocery store chains (HEB) has. The pumps automatically deactivate when the door is opened and cannot be reactivated except by authorized personnel. This would eliminate the threat from the majority of the skimmers which are placed inside. The external skimmers are easy to spot and remove.


Telling clerks that you shouldn't be seeing pickup trucks fill more than 30 or 40 gallons at a time is another.

AND... when you see a lot fuel going into the bed is another.
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#7 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:31 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 November 2019 - 12:19 PM, said:

Yuniet Fuentes
Yunior Rodriguez Rivero
Raul Morgan Borrego
Alexander Arguelles

Hmmm........I sense a pattern here......

http://www.rightnation.us/forums/public/style_emoticons/default/dry.gif


Just doing jobs Americans don't want to do...
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#8 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 12:36 PM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 12 November 2019 - 12:31 PM, said:

Just doing jobs Americans don't want to do...


;)
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#9 User is offline   Ticked@TinselTown 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:12 PM

Wasn't that one of the Fast and Furious movies? Except in another country?
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#10 User is offline   erp 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 01:38 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 12 November 2019 - 12:19 PM, said:

Yuniet Fuentes
Yunior Rodriguez Rivero
Raul Morgan Borrego
Alexander Arguelles

Hmmm........I sense a pattern here......

<_<

They all serve chips and salsa before the meal?
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#11 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 12 November 2019 - 02:00 PM

View Posterp, on 12 November 2019 - 01:38 PM, said:

They all serve chips and salsa before the meal?


Si, amigo.

;)
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