Last Friday, Santa Fe police arrested Michael Puzak, charging him with larceny after he allegedly stole 488 gallons of biodiesel from a local Giant gas station. Puzak apparently modified a U-Haul truck for fuel transport duties. When searched, the truck was found to contain 11 55-gallon drums and two 250-gallon tanks capable of hauling loads of fuel.
Friday marked the fourth time since November 4th that the Cerrillos Road Giant gas station was hit by biodiesel fuel thieves. In the previous incidents, the thefts were carried out without local authorities identifying a suspect or making any arrests. Police suspect that Puzak may have had a role in the previous thefts and are holding the 29-year-old Rio Rancho man at the Santa Fe County jail without bond.

Santa Fe Police Chief, Aric Wheeler, issued this brief statement regarding the thefts:
We're trying to figure out how he was able to get the fuel pumps flowing without being charged or detected. And we've also contacted other agencies (including federal authorities) to see if this matches any similar cases. We aren't clear at this point if he was reselling it or what he was using it for.
In 2006, Puzak was charged, along with two accomplices, with stealing fuel from numerous gas stations in the Albuquerque area. Puzak resold the fuel, profiting dearly before being caught and thrown in jail for less than a year. We suspect that Puzak, if found guilty, will serve a much longer stint this time around.

[Source: Santa Fe New Mexican | Image: jsbarrie – C.C. License 2.0]

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