Three Maryland men were arrested on theft charges after being accused of stealing $35,000 in diesel fuel over the last two months. Police say that the men bought fuel at various gas stations with Panera Bread gift cards that were encoded with stolen credit card information. One of the merchants from whom they purchased received a disputed purchase complaint.
When the employees realized the transaction was related to a stolen credit card, they alerted the authorities. Surveillance tapes from the store were used to identify the men’s vehicles. The men were arrested when their vehicles were spotted on a return trip to the same station.
When the police picked up the three men, one of them allegedly had 18 gift cards in his possession. The other two men each had one card on hand. One of the men allegedly told investigators that they were participants in a bigger plan to transport the fuel to Maryland.
Accusations of credit card theft can result in serious consequences, including possible prison time, if a suspect is found guilty. The extent that the defendants cooperate with authorities can be extremely important in the outcome of their cases. If a defendant can provide information that can be instrumental in preventing larger crimes, law enforcement may consider leniency.
These negotiations are very sensitive and most of the time, defendants do not have the experience to make sure that their best interests are protected. Having an attorney present during these negotiations and any type of police interrogation can make a crucial difference.
Source: York Daily Record, “Police bust suspects in Loganville $35K gas thefts,” Ted Czech, Aug. 20, 2012