Conversion Van for the Recession: Gasoline Theft-Mobile Rigged for Big-Time Siphoning


According to Phoenix police, these guys really suck.

Using a van equipped with removable floorboards and a 450-gallon tank, the suspects cruised around town and siphoned up rivers of gasoline from underground fuel tanks.

We have to give them an A for effort. For the plan's execution, though, the crime-class grade drops to a solid F. 


Circle K had alerted its employees to the crappy, old, white van after losing a bunch of gas recently at the chain's 5127 North 43rd Avenue location.

Just after 12:30 a.m. on Monday, a Circle K worker at 1802 West Union Hills Drive heard an alarm go off that signaled an underground tank was losing a massive quantity of fuel. The clerk looked outside, saw the white van and called police, who arrived "in about a minute," according to Phoenix police Detective James Holmes.

The cops immediately arrested Jared Desanti, 36, and George Brabakos, 38, then called a hazardous-materials unit out to inspect the leaky van. When police opened the locked doors at the back of the van, they found Robert Jeter, 35, unconscious from the fumes. They also found a handgun.

Jeter recovered, and the trio was booked into county jail on suspicion of armed burglary.



(Van images by Phoenix PD).





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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern