ORLANDO, Florida. –Two Orlando residents have been arrested for tampering with fuel pumps in Lakeland, according to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Officials said they received reports of fuel tampering at Lakeland and Lutz gas stations in late February and early March, prompting an investigation. Four people have been arrested as a result of the investigation, including two Orlando men.
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The department said Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llerena attempted to steal fuel from a Circle K in Lakeland on Saturday “by installing a pulsar manipulation device inside one of the pumps.”
“Our investigators, agents and law enforcement partners work hard every day to protect Florida consumers and businesses from theft and other fraud at gas stations across our state,” Commissioner Nikki Fried said. in a press release. “Whether individuals try to steal fuel like in these situations or steal credit card data with skimmers, know that our department will continue to crack down on crimes at our gas pumps.”
According to an arrest report, Llerena told deputies that he and Garcia-Martinez were going to Tampa to pick up a truck. He said he was inside the Circle K convenience store while Garcia-Martinez put gas in the Ford pickup truck they were traveling in.
Deputies said Garcia-Martinez said the Ford was his and changed his story “several times” about how long he owned it. The report says Garcia-Martinez eventually said he picked up the truck four days ago and put gas in it at the Circle K gas station, but denied accessing the pump or tampering with it. He then claimed ownership of the fuel tampering device.
Garcia-Martinez faces charges of unauthorized access to an electronic device, fraudulently obtaining fuel, criminal mischief, organized scheme to defraud, and illegal transportation of fuel.
Llerena faces charges of criminal mischief, disrupting or impairing a business or operation, and unauthorized access to electronic material.
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