KANE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – A Las Vegas man has been arrested following the theft of thousands of gallons of diesel fuel from Utah gas stations in what police believe was committed as an organized crime.
Alexander Rodriguez Padilla, 39, out of Las Vegas, Nevada, is facing three second-degree felony theft charges as well as three related misdemeanor charges.
On Dec. 6, Kane County Sheriff’s Office Detectives were reportedly contacted about a diesel fuel theft that had occurred at a Shell station in Mt. Carmel. Authorities say the theft had occurred three days prior, on Dec. 3.
Video surveillance allegedly showed two vehicles parked on opposite sides of a fuel pump shortly after 1 a.m., one of which was a “modified semi-truck with several holding tanks,” and the other a Dodge pickup with multiple tanks in the truck bed, the sheriff’s office states.
Surveillance shows that the suspects then returned a second time, close to midnight the same day, reportedly stealing a total of around 2000 gallons of diesel fuel.
Through investigation, detectives found that the suspects had stolen another 1000 gallons of fuel from a Shell station in Kanab on Dec. 4.
According to the sheriff’s office, the suspects were able to break into the pumps and “manipulate the machinery” to pump as long as they needed to fill all of their tanks.
On Dec. 8, a witness reported seeing the semi-truck at a Maverik station in Cedar City, and local law enforcement held the truck and driver at the scene until Kane County Detectives could arrive.
Upon the arrival of detectives, Padilla reportedly confirmed that the truck was his and requested an attorney.
According to a release, it is believed that the suspects have been committing the same thefts in different counties across the state of Utah as a part of an organized crime, and involves more vehicles and suspects.
Detectives have allegedly located other stations in Kanab that have seen similar thefts that are being investigated. In Kane County alone, the approximate value of the thefts is over $15,000.
Padilla was booked into the Kane County Jail on the charges previously stated.
This case is under investigation by the Kane County Sheriff’s Office along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and law enforcement agencies throughout Utah.