Calaveras County authorities have arrested three men who they believe stole nearly 700 gallons of gasoline from a pair of service stations.
Jason Newton, 37, of Valley Springs, Michael Duncan, 45, of Valley Springs, and Robert Range, 31, of Manteca, were arrested Tuesday in a grocery store parking lot. They were booked on felony charges of grand theft, conspiracy to commit a crime, and possession of burglary tools, according to a statement from the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Office.
Duncan also was on probation, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The investigation started Tuesday when the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a gas theft from Glory Hole Sports in Angels Camp.
A store surveillance video showed a man driving a white truck stealing 400 gallons of gasoline during the early morning hours.
An investigating deputy found that the man and truck matched suspect description from a theft of gasoline Dec. 31 from the Shell Sierra Trading Post in Angels Camp.
Tuesday evening, deputies located the suspect vehicle parked in the parking lot of MarVal grocery store in Valley Springs.
Deputies contacted the driver and two passengers. They also found evidence inside the truck associated with the gas thefts, including fuel containers, siphon hoses and burglary tools, the report said.
Newton admitted being involved in the gas thefts along with Duncan and Range, according to the Sheriff’s Office statement.
He also admitted to similar thefts in Rocklin and Lodi, the statement said.
“One thing that aided the deputies in solving this case was that arrestee Newton had used his personal credit card at Glory Hole Sports to initially activate and bypass the gas pump prior to the theft of the fuel,” the Sheriff’s Office statement said.