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Fuel thief had ‘ingenious mechanism’ for stealing gas, deputies say

Newberry County sheriff urges citizens to watch for scams
The Newberry County Sheriff's Office is cracking down on fuel thefts as gas prices soar.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 6:32 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 15, 2022 at 10:55 PM EDT
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NEWBERRY COUNTY, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - As fuel prices continue to break record highs, officials have warned that scammers and thieves are taking advantage of the situation. In Newberry County, deputies say they caught a suspect who used an elaborate plot and “ingenious mechanism” to steal fuel.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office was called to investigate hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel stolen from the Pilot Truck Plaza on Highway 773 near Interstate 26.

Deputies said they learned 20-year-old Lucas Paul Reyes placed “skimmer” devices on gas pumps to steal credit card numbers.

Reyes is then accused of using the stolen credit card information to pump fuel into a pickup truck, which was rigged with a pump on the undercarriage. The “ingenious mechanism” would transfer the fuel into a bladder in an enclosed trailer, the sheriff said.

Reyes is charged with Driving Without a License, Resisting Arrest, Financial Transaction Card Theft, Financial Transaction Card Fraud, Breaking into a Fuel Tank, and Violation of the Computer Crime Act.

The Newberry County Sheriff’s Office warned people to check for skimmer devices, which are usually placed over the credit card slot on gas pumps but are not securely attached. You should also check your bank statements for any suspicious charges, especially if you’ve pumped gas in the area.