FONTANA (CBSLA.com) —An off-duty Fontana police officer is being credited with the arrest of three men who siphoned nearly 300 gallons of fuel from a San Bernardino County gas station.READ MORE: LeBron Scores 25 As Lakers End Three-Game Skid, Beat Jazz, 101-95
Freddrick Hunter, 38, Edward Dawson, 32, and 42-year-old Terry Washington were caught in the act and arrested for grand theft on May 22, according to the Fontana Police Department.
According to a news release provided by police, an off-duty officer noticed a suspicious van and a gold Toyota Camry at a Mobile Gas station located at 16925 Foothill Boulevard around 11:45 a.m. that day and called authorities.
“The officer noticed that the van appeared to be sucking gas from the underground fuel tanks,” as the occupants of the Camry provided a lookout, Sgt. Doug Imhof said.
When patrol officers arrived on scene, they found large containers filled with gas inside the van.READ MORE: Rams Fans Flood The Stands For First Ever Playoff Game At SoFi Stadium
“They made it look like the van was broken down in the parking lot and parked over one of the access holes for the tanks,” Imof said.
He described the “elaborate set-up” that allowed for such a massive haul as a “rare” occurrence.
“I have seen it before but not often,” he told CBS2’s Adrianna Weingold. “It’s kind of rare.”
Police believe the suspects also siphoned fuel from the same gas station the day before their arrest.MORE NEWS: East Coast Storm Grounds Dozens Of Flights Out of LAX, John Wayne Airport On Monday
They are investigating whether the suspects hit other gas stations in the area.