Police: Fla. Gas Thieves Used New Device

Police are investigating an elaborate scheme in which a group of thieves in Florida used a “never-before-seen” electronic device to hack into a gas station pump and steal unlimited amounts of fuel, a television news station in Casselberry, Fla., reported.

Five cars filled with members of the alleged gas thieves were seen bypassing the pump mechanisms at a Hess station in Casselberry on Monday, police told Channel 6 news in Orlando.

"One of the operatives (got) out and used a computerized device to bypass the pumps so they could pump an unlimited amount of gas into the vehicles," Casselberry police Lt. Dennis Stewart said.

One of the people with the alleged group of thieves noticed that officers were watching the crime, so she signaled to the others to leave. The group scattered, but not before one of the last vehicles tried to run over a police officer and wound up hitting the officer in the ribs and arm and knocking him backward, police said.

Chelsea Harris, 19, and Rhyeen Brinson, 25, were arrested and charged with felonies, while police are still searching for the others involved.

"We’d love to get our hands on the equipment and right now, particularly with one of our officers hit, we’d love to get our hands on the people,” Stewart said.

Casselberry police said they had never seen the electronic device or technology used to steal the gasoline at the Hess station.

Last month, two employees at a Massachusetts Exxon gas station were arrested after disabling the pin pad on the gas dispensers and forcing employees to pay with cash. The men then pocketed the cash, which amounted to about $60,000.


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