Police: More than $410K in diesel fuel stolen from Springs-area Kum & Gos
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Springs police say a ring of thieves siphoned six figures’ worth of diesel gasoline from a convenience store chain over a span of months.
Officers arrested one of the suspects late last week, who allegedly had roughly 750 gallons of fuel on him when he was taken into custody. More arrests are expected.
The investigation started in late April when CSPD was contacted by the senior loss prevention manager for Kum & Go.
“CSPD was contacted ... regarding a crime pattern in which unknown parties were using stolen credit card numbers to purchase large quantities of diesel fuel from their business,” police said.
According to the loss prevention manager, the crime wave started in Denver but moved to the Colorado Springs-Fountain area. Since moving to the Pikes Peak region, the price tag on the fuel stolen came out to an eye-watering $410,000.
“It was believed that the suspects were using full size pick-up trucks that were modified in order to obtain and transport the large quantities of stolen fuel,” police said.
During the investigation, detectives said they witnessed one suspect use phony gift cards at three Kum & Go locations, traveling between the gas stations in a Ford F-250 with a massive fuel tank “that took up the entire bed of the truck.” The cards had allegedly been reencoded with stolen credit card numbers.
Detectives with the CSPD Financial Crimes Unit and patrol officers from the Gold Hill sub-station arrested the suspect on Sept. 10. He has since been identified as Jose Romero-Bizuela and faces charges of identity theft, cyber crime and theft.
Police say they are still identifying other suspects, and the investigation is ongoing.
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