California gas thieves used vans with 1,000-gallon tanks, police say


POMONA — Two men were caught stealing hundreds of gallons of gasoline using two altered commuter vans and an unauthorized credit card, Pomona police said Friday.

Jose A. Quintanilla, 30, of San Pedro and Samuel Virgenogerman, 35, of Long Beach were arrested on suspicion of grand theft and unauthorized use of a credit card early Friday morning at a Food 4 Less gas station, police said in a news release.

Officers were called to the gas station for possible fuel theft, officials said. When they arrived, they discovered two men had purchased a large amount of fuel with a credit card they didn’t have permission to use, according to police.

As they further investigated the theft, officers found the vans had been converted to hold 1,000 gallons of fuel each.

“Seats were placed atop the interior floor-mounted gas tanks to conceal them,” the release said. “This was a very elaborate gas collection and transport system.”

Officers said the men were able to pump 350 gallons of gasoline at the Pomona station, the statement said.

The men were arrested and their vehicles impounded, officials said.

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