via Orange County Register
Even though the war between Russia and Ukraine is raging halfway across the world in Europe, the effects are still influencing Americans. The war has unintentionally increased gas prices in America to incredible prices. President Biden has even authorized the release of some oil from the U.S. reserves in the Gulf of Mexico.
In Florida, the prices have been around $4, and some people are taking advantage of this.
Four men in Florida have been arrested for hacking gas station pumps. According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the men put “pulsators” in gas pumps that regulate the prices and the fuel coming out. These devices turned dollars per gallon prices into pennies per gallon. These schemes happened at two separate circle K stations located in Lakeland and Lutz, Florida.
Two of the four men, Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llerena, were caught red-handed on March 12th while filling an oversized tank up with gas. Officials have stated that Martinez was found in possession of a remote that controlled the pulsator in the gas pumps. Yordian Diaz-Benitez, the third man, was arrested two days earlier after he was caught stealing gas, and the fourth and final culprit, Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez, was apprehended after he was seen planting the pulsator into a pump at the same station where Yordian was arrested.
The criminals were filling large trucks with oversized tanks laden with gas for pennies, and they were selling them at a steep price. Luckily for the gas stations, the perpetrators were caught before too much harm was done.
Ned Bowman, president of the Florida Department of Agriculture, speculated that the recent prices for gas had been an incentive for illegal gas scandals.
Because of these scandals, officials have told gas station owners to be wary of any large vehicles that are parked at pumps for unusually long periods of time. Also, station owners have been regularly checking their supplies of gas and the income they receive.
Even though gas scandals may help criminals, they can make gas prices even worse than they are now.
FDACS Commissioner Nikki Fried commented, “With gas prices hitting record highs, fuel theft can further drive up costs for all consumers.”
Sadly, this event has also happened in North Carolina, where thieves came after the store closed and made away with about four hundred gallons of gas.