Two men are suspected of stealing thousands of dollars worth of gas from two Austin area 7-Eleven stores.
Police arrested Guilibaldo Gonzalez Puente, 48, and Alejandro Centeno Alvarez, 33, at a gas pump on Slaughter. The two are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity which is a second degree felony.
APD says surveillance video shows the men stealing $27,266.84 from a station at 8600 E US 290 and 525 W. Slaughter Lane. The video shows thefts from the last three months.
APD Detective Rickey Jones describes the gas theft as organized and possibly part of a larger crime ring. "He would act like he was swiping to buy more time and it looks like he's just buying gas," explained Jones.
Jones says the suspects would manipulate the pumps allowing the gas to flow freely without triggering a censor to alert the clerk.
"They have a rally point maybe across the street," said Jones
The rally point is where cars would be waiting. Drivers would pull up and with cash would pay the suspects for the gas which would be sold for less than the posted pump price.
"A lot of the vehicles are trucks with big bladders in the back which could hold between 200 and 400 gallons," described Jones.
According to court papers the suspects would spend between one and three hours at the pumps and would go in the evening hours.
The thefts from these two stores go back a year and Jones says the two stores report a combined loss of around $100,000.