Black market fuel is making millions

Published 7:38 am Friday, August 11, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  — A black market for diesel and gasoline has rapidly spread around the nation, with organized crime gangs using fraudulent credit cards to siphon millions of dollars in fuel from gas stations into large tanks hidden inside pickup trucks and vans.

Stealing fuel can be less risky than selling drugs or other illegal endeavors, and criminals can make $1,000 or more a day re-selling the stolen fuel at construction sites and unscrupulous gas stations, or to truckers looking to cut costs, investigators and industry experts say.

“It’s pretty rampant,” said Owen DeWitt, whose Texas-based company, Know Control, focuses solely on helping gas stations prevent fuel theft. He said the crime is worst along Interstate 10, from Jacksonville, Fla., to the Los Angeles area. “California and Florida are the two worst; Texas is No. 3.”

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