Saturday, June 23, 2018
Public safety

Tampa man accused of using credit fraud to steal gas

WESLEY CHAPEL — A Tampa man was arrested Tuesday after, authorities say, he stole credit card information from people in other states and used it to buy mass quantities of gasoline in at least one county.

Authorities first noticed a string of fraud in which the suspects would use multiple credit cards at gas stations to fill bladder tanks inside their vehicles, a Pasco Sheriff's report states.

On Tuesday around 10 a.m., surveillance cameras found Carlos Gonzalez, 54, swiping multiple cards for gasoline at a Sam's Club filling station in Wesley Chapel, the report states. When deputies confronted him, he dropped two Walmart gift cards, which were later found to be encoded with stolen credit card information. The owners of those credit cards are from Washington, according to the U.S. Secret Service. A third card on Gonzalez was encoded with Sam's Club membership information in another customer's name.

Between the Wesley Chapel gas station, one on North Dale Mabry and a third in Clearwater the day before, authorities estimate Gonzalez stole more than 90 gallons of fuel.

Gonzalez, of 6006 W. North St. in Tampa, was arrested on charges of unlawfully conveying fuel, obtaining fuel fraudulently, forging a credit card and stealing an identity. He remained in the Land O'Lakes jail Wednesday in lieu of $50,000 bail.

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