Florida men arrested after being accused of stealing gas from pumps with 'homemade' device

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By Carina Murphy

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With gas prices spiking, a group of Florida men have been arrested for allegedly taking matters into their own hands.

Seven individuals were arrested across the state after being accused of using "homemade" gadgets to hack fuel pumps - meaning they paid a couple of cents per gallon, The Independent reports.

The men - who were running separate operations in Polk and Pasco counties near Tampa and Alachua County in north Florida - were arrested on fraud charges within a week of each other.

Authorities at The Florida Department of Agriculture said they began investigating an organized group in February who they believed were using fuel pump pulsar manipulation devices.

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Credit: Wim Wiskerke / Alamy

A fuel pump pulsar is a device that allows you to control the pump's electronic display, and therefore manipulate how much you pay for gas.

First to be picked up by officers were Yordian Diaz-Benitez and Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez, who were arrested on March 10 after allegedly using the device to pay pennies on the gallon for diesel fuel at a station 14 miles north of Tampa.

They were shortly followed by Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llerena, who on March 12 were caught attempting to install a device on a pump around 55 miles southwest of Orlando.

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Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llarena. Credit: Polk County Sheriff

According to the Polk County arrest report, Llerena and Garcia-Martinez were pumping fuel into a pickup truck, when the latter was caught accessing the inside of a fuel pump with "a homemade device in his hand (used to manipulate a fuel pulsar) during the unauthorized access)."

Then on March 16, three men - Alfredo Quintana Marrero, Jose Luis Hernandez Verano, and Leonardo Jesus Valdes Cordero - were arrested in Alachua County for allegedly using the device to fill illegal fuel tanks, or "gasoline bladders", which they had fitted in their pickup trucks.

A police report seen by The Gainsville Sun reports that the men used pulsar devices and counterfeit credit cards to steal over 2,800 gallons of fuel which they allegedly planned to resell.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried said the department plans to crack down on gas theft in the state. "With gas prices hitting record highs, fuel theft can further drive up costs for all consumers," she said per The Independent.

Regular gas prices have reached an all-time high in Florida, according to AAA Gas Prices. A gallon of regular gas will set you back an average of $4.37, while diesel is around $5.15 per gallon.

Featured Image Credit: Brian Jackson / Alamy

Florida men arrested after being accused of stealing gas from pumps with 'homemade' device

vt-author-image

By Carina Murphy

Article saved!Article saved!

With gas prices spiking, a group of Florida men have been arrested for allegedly taking matters into their own hands.

Seven individuals were arrested across the state after being accused of using "homemade" gadgets to hack fuel pumps - meaning they paid a couple of cents per gallon, The Independent reports.

The men - who were running separate operations in Polk and Pasco counties near Tampa and Alachua County in north Florida - were arrested on fraud charges within a week of each other.

Authorities at The Florida Department of Agriculture said they began investigating an organized group in February who they believed were using fuel pump pulsar manipulation devices.

size-large wp-image-1263149084
Credit: Wim Wiskerke / Alamy

A fuel pump pulsar is a device that allows you to control the pump's electronic display, and therefore manipulate how much you pay for gas.

First to be picked up by officers were Yordian Diaz-Benitez and Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez, who were arrested on March 10 after allegedly using the device to pay pennies on the gallon for diesel fuel at a station 14 miles north of Tampa.

They were shortly followed by Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llerena, who on March 12 were caught attempting to install a device on a pump around 55 miles southwest of Orlando.

size-large wp-image-1263149081
Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llarena. Credit: Polk County Sheriff

According to the Polk County arrest report, Llerena and Garcia-Martinez were pumping fuel into a pickup truck, when the latter was caught accessing the inside of a fuel pump with "a homemade device in his hand (used to manipulate a fuel pulsar) during the unauthorized access)."

Then on March 16, three men - Alfredo Quintana Marrero, Jose Luis Hernandez Verano, and Leonardo Jesus Valdes Cordero - were arrested in Alachua County for allegedly using the device to fill illegal fuel tanks, or "gasoline bladders", which they had fitted in their pickup trucks.

A police report seen by The Gainsville Sun reports that the men used pulsar devices and counterfeit credit cards to steal over 2,800 gallons of fuel which they allegedly planned to resell.

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Nikki Fried said the department plans to crack down on gas theft in the state. "With gas prices hitting record highs, fuel theft can further drive up costs for all consumers," she said per The Independent.

Regular gas prices have reached an all-time high in Florida, according to AAA Gas Prices. A gallon of regular gas will set you back an average of $4.37, while diesel is around $5.15 per gallon.

Featured Image Credit: Brian Jackson / Alamy