Miami couple arrested after stealing hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A Miami couple have been arrested after stealing hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel from a 7-eleven on Tamiami Trail.

Deputies responded to the scene after asset protection informed them there was suspicious activity at one of the pumps.

Once deputies arrived at the scene, they saw a man identified as Edson Escalona and a woman identified as Tanilexis Tortolo pumping gas from an external gas tank.

On-site employees and Asset Protection confirmed that a tractor-trailer arrived at the pump and purchased 15 gallons of diesel, but ended up pumping out 200 gallons instead. Moments later, a black van arrived and paid for 6 gallons of fuel, and ended up pumping out 150 gallons. Finally a silver truck pulled over and paid about 6 gallons and pumped out 98 gallons.

When detectives from the Southern District Criminal Investigation Division arrived on the scene, they found that Escalona and Tortolo were working together to “tamper with the pumps.” They used their own flight devices to do so.

The two were charged with fuel by fraudulent means.

“This couple thought they could go to Lee County and steal hundreds of gallons of fuel. On average, fuel costs $4.05 a gallon and businesses can’t afford to take that loss. They chose the bad county and visited us at motel Marceno.

Sheriff Carmine Marceno