Fuel theft ring led to thousands of gallons stolen in Las Vegas

Clockwise from top left: Raidel Amador Blanco, Luis Gomez Medero, Jose Hernandez and Javier Gom ...

Three men arrested stole more than 10,000 gallons worth of fuel from Las Vegas gas stations this month, police said.

Raidel Amador Blanco, Luis Gomez Medero and Javier Ramos Gomez each are charged with theft and conspiracy charges, according to court records.

In an arrest report released Friday, police said the trio had altered their trucks and the sensors at a gas pump to steal 9,913.83 gallons of diesel fuel from a Chevron, 8132 Las Vegas Blvd. South, near East Windmill Lane on April 7.

An employee of Terrible Herbst called the Metropolitan Police Department earlier that morning to report that the Chevron at 1785 East Sunset Road was short about 1,500 gallons of fuel in the past 24 hours. The employee found security footage that showed two trucks parked at the pump for hours, according to the police report.

The losses totaled more than $8,000, the employee told police. He described the trucks as a large Dodge Ram and a Chevrolet.

That evening, an off-duty officer walking by the Chevron on Las Vegas Boulevard discovered a Dodge Ram that had been parked at the pump since 4:30 p.m. Video footage reported to police showed the truck stayed at the pump until 8:20 p.m.

About 25 minutes later, police said the Chevrolet truck pulled into the same pump and stayed for about 15 minutes.

Detectives discovered the fuel pump sensors had been tampered with, and both trucks were pulled over near the gas station.

“During the vehicle stops on the Dodge Ram and the Chevrolet 2500, detectives observed sophisticated pipes, electric pumps, hoses and nozzles throughout the storage bins of both trucks along with a strong odor of diesel fuel,” police wrote in the arrest report. “Both trucks appeared to be significantly heavy, due to the substantial amount of diesel fuel stored in the custom fuel bladders hidden in the cargo areas.”

All three men were released Tuesday on electronic monitoring and are scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing July 28.

Two days before the three men were arrested, Jose Cabrera Hernandez was arrested after he admitted to police he was altering vehicles in a backyard chop shop to make fuel trucks.

Police were initially called by a woman who said her father had made threats to her and that she was afraid of him, according to an arrest report. Detectives discovered several disassembled cars in the backyard of the home, which was on El Camino Road.

Several of the vehicles were stolen, including a Dodge Ram and a Ford F350, and detectives described them as “Frankensteins” in the report because several vehicles were put together with different frames.

“Hernandez stated he was using the vehicles to make fuel trucks for his illegal fuel business,” police wrote.

Cabrera Hernandez is charged with operating a chop shop and two counts of possessing or receiving a stolen vehicle. He was released on $1,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing June 21.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.