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Men use electronic device to swipe 80 gallons of diesel fuel at Dallas 7-Eleven, police say

The suspects used three vehicles during the theft, including a truck with a tank in the back of it. Detectives believe they were re-selling the fuel, sources say.

DALLAS — Four people have been arrested for allegedly stealing 80 gallons of diesel fuel from a 7-Eleven gas station in Northeast Dallas, police said.

The alleged theft happened Wednesday at the 7-Eleven at 10400 Garland Road, near Gus Thomasson Road.

Pedro Ruiz, Alfredo Hechavarria, Lazaro Echemendia Miranda and Betancourt Barco face charges of engaging in organized criminal activity, theft of a petroleum product and unlawful use of a criminal instrument, according to a police news release.

The suspects were using an electronic device that allowed them to attach it to the fuel pump without the pump tracking how much gas was being pumped, police said.

The suspects used three vehicles during the theft, including a modified pickup truck "that had been outfitted with an external fuel tank," news release said.

Ruiz opened the front panel of the fuel pump and installed the electronic device, police said. Hechavarria then pumped 80 gallons of fuel into one of the vehicles while the other two men served as lookouts, according to the news release.

Credit: Dallas PD
The device used to steal diesel fuel at a Dallas gas station, police said.

Detectives from the police financial crimes division had been investigating the suspects for allegedly stealing diesel and re-selling it, police said. When they saw the theft happen during surveillance Wednesday, they pulled over the suspects on a traffic violation.

Some patrons filling up at the pumps on Thursday, said they’re shocked by the thefts and arrests, but not surprised. Gas prices have soared in recent weeks, and diesel has been the most expensive grade of fuel. The average price for a gallon of diesel in Dallas hit $5.307 Tuesday, a new all-time record.

Some employees said the 7-Eleven location has been hit multiple times by fuel thieves. 

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