A truck driver has been arrested for stealing fuel from semi trucks in an Illinois repair shop, for use in his own rig.
Since July 2015, customers of CIT Trucks in Champaign, Illinois, have complained of their trucks being returned with less fuel than they when parked. As a response, the owner of the shop set up a surveillance system to monitor the lot after business hours.
On several occasions, the surveillance footage showed a white male entering the lot in the middle of the night, and using an an electric pump to siphon fuel out of parked trucks and into his own truck.
“CIT set up a camera system that automatically notified electronically when people arrived on their lot. We captured images of Struble stealing diesel from semis that were being worked on and some that were ready for pickup from their business,” Champaign County sheriff’s Lt. Curt Apperson said.
After receiving the video recordings, officers were told to lookout for the suspect during local patrols. On April 1st, an officer caught the suspect in the act, with is rig parked next to another truck on the lot.
The man, 51-year-old Michigan truck driver Donald L. Struble, “had no explanation for being on the lot” and was taken into custody.
After being questioned, Struble confessed to stealing fuel on at least 14 occasions, many of which were caught on tape.
Police say that Struble became familiar with the repair shop because he regularly made deliveries in the area, and frequented the nearby Road Ranger truck stop off I-57.
Detectives say the total value of fuel stolen by Struble “is in excess of $5,000.”
Struble was charged with class 3 felony theft and faces up to five years in prison if convicted.