Man arrested for stealing fuel from truckers

September 11, 2009 6:05:03 AM PDT
Gas prices are on the decline, but that's not stopping thieves from trying to make a quick buck. Police in Baytown have seen a big increase in cases of truck drivers getting ripped off for their fuel. We're talking hundreds of gallons at a time.

The latest theft happened in the parking lot of a truck stop in Baytown. The accused thief in this case happens to be a truck driver.

The Flying J truck stop in Baytown hosts truckers from all over the country. Jessie Silcox says when he saw Dalton Abraham, 37, a truck driver from Houston, back his big rig in there early Wednesday morning, he didn't think anything of it.

"I figured he was hooking up to a trailer," said Silcox.

Authorities say Abraham had something else in mind. A fellow trucker allegedly caught him red-handed, stealing some 280 gallons of diesel from an 18-wheeler by siphoning the fuel out of the tank using a hose and an electric pump. The responding police officer says Abraham nearly ran him over with his truck after confronting him.

"The officer stepped back and lunged over towards the front of the other vehicle that he was siphoning fuel from. At that time the suspect drove off," said Capt. Mike Holden

From the Flying J truck stop at Thompson and I-10 the officer pursued Abraham as he headed west on the freeway, exiting at Normandy. Abraham then drove his big rig into a subdivision where he lost control and crashed through a fence.

"It was very chaotic, it was police officers (and sirens), that's all you heard," said one neighbor.

The neighbor who did not want to be identified says the officer arrested Abraham after a brief foot chase. Truckers say it's unfortunate because diesel thefts are becoming way too common.

"I don't like a thief," said Silcox.

Abraham has been charged with felony evading arrest and will appear before a judge next week.

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