SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA.com) — A man accused of being a gas thief is behind bars in Simi Valley.
Police say Aristeo De La Cruz, 28, spent several months stealing gas from cars. Authorities first began investigating stolen gas calls dating back to October 2013.
The suspect, a Simi Valley resident, was last seen puncturing a car’s gas tank on Runway Street in May and then stealing gas.
De La Cruz was arrested Friday in the front lobby of the Moorpark Police Station.
He was at the station after being arrested for siphoning gas from another vehicle.
Authorities said all of the crimes took place in parking lots at varying times.
Police got their first good look at the suspect’s vehicle on surveillance tape taken in February 2014. The license plate could not be clearly made out but they said their suspect was driving a late 90s or early 2000’s dark blue Toyota Corolla.
In May 2014, a concerned citizen reportedly noticed a man pull into a parking lot in the 4800 block of Runway Street and look around suspiciously. The citizen noticed the man puncture a gas tank and steal gas. That citizen got close enough to the suspect’s car to get a license plate.
De La Cruz has been charged with four counts of felony vandalism, four counts of petty theft and two misdemeanor warrants.