MANTECA (CBS13) – Three people arrested in Manteca were linked to several burglaries in the area and found in possession of approximately 300 gallons of stolen gas, the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office said.
Jose Hernandez-Bautista, 31, Jose Oregel-Barajas, 25, and Jesus Castro, 24, were booked into the San Joaquin County Jail and face charges including conspiracy, vehicle theft, possession of stolen property, burglary, and looting, authorities said.
A deputy was on his way to work yesterday when he spotted an unoccupied pickup truck with a 500-gallon agricultural tank in the bed parked along the shoulder of French Camp Road, near Austin Road. The deputy called for another patrol car to be dispatched to his location when he noticed the vehicle matched the description of a suspect vehicle linked to a business burglary he had recently investigated, where gas and gas cards were stolen, the sheriff’s office said.
Authorities said three Hispanic men arrived claiming ownership of the truck as soon as the dispatched deputy arrived. The truck was found to be stolen from an agricultural business in the area and contained several stolen items belonging to nearby businesses. All three men were detained.
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Deputies said some people went to the scene of the arrests and told deputies the three suspects had also stolen from their businesses.
The sheriff’s office said the suspects admitted to using stolen credit cards to buy $13,000 worth of red-dye diesel. The suspects then went to a truck yard where they sold it to truckers for $2 a gallon. When they were arrested, the suspects had 300 gallons of diesel in the tank, say deputies.