Man drills into school bus fuel tank and steals gas in plastic tubs, California cops say

·1 min read
Getty Images/iStockphoto

A man is accused of stealing gas from a school bus at a California elementary school, authorities said.

The man drilled a hole into the bus’s fuel tank, used a “homemade hand-pump system,” and emptied about $195 worth of gas into “two plastic tubs under the school bus” the morning of Wednesday, Aug. 17, a Facebook post from the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Office said.

After arriving at Jamestown Elementary School and viewing surveillance video of the theft, deputies drove to the school’s Chinese Camp campus, the post said. School staff and deputies “saw the same man and vehicle from the surveillance footage.”

A deputy spoke with the 29-year-old, who “smelled of diesel fuel,” the sheriff’s office said.

The deputy detained the man and found out he had outstanding arrest warrants, officials said.

A search of the man’s car uncovered “several fuel cans, hoses, a homemade hand-pump system, a large tank, and drug use paraphernalia,” the post said.

“The fuel tank had been drilled into and a fitting that appeared to be homemade had been installed into the tank,” the post said.

The fuel tank’s damage is estimated to be $1,500, according to the sheriff’s office.

The man was arrested on “charges of felony vandalism, possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, along with his outstanding warrants,” officials said.

Tuolumne County is about 130 miles southeast of Sacramento.

A driver was filmed siphoning gas from trucks in Meridian. Police are asking for help

Black market fuel: Dallas police say raid turned up hundreds of gallons of stolen gas

Kansas City area thieves drill holes in gas tanks as pump prices rise: police