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Computers fuel high-tech thieves quest to steal gas

OKLAHOMA CITY – When gas prices go up so do the number of gas thefts.

In one recent case, the thieves used a strange method to hack into the gas pump, allowing them to pump gas even though the gas station was closed and the pump turned off. angelo madril

Early Wednesday morning, two vehicles pulled into the Metro Quick Mart at S.W. 89th St. and Shields.

The station was closed but that did not deter the suspects from siphoning gas out of the pumps.

OKC Police Sgt. Jennifer Wardlow said, “They had some type of computerized device that it appeared they were hooking up to the gas pump to siphon gas out of the fuel pump.”

Surveillance video from the store shows police pulling up minutes after the suspects arrive.

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Wardlow said, “He saw there were two cars near the gas pumps; he thought this was unusual.”

Four men were taken in to custody.

Police said Edwardo Duarte, Jake Rikard, Eldmontise Miller and Angelo Madrill are each facing a charges of larceny and violating the Computer Crimes Act.

It’s the computer part of the crime that police said is so unusual.

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Wardlow said, “This is someone who’s obviously going the extra mile, has the knowledge to go to the trouble to do this.”

Forkan Chowdhury, with the Metro Quick Mart, said, “They could bypass the system and get the gas.”

Using some sort of a computer system, the suspects were able to power the pump.

When police found the men, they had pumped almost $55 in gas.

The station owner said it’s not much gas but it is a costly crime because he had to repair the pump the suspects hijacked.

Chowdhury said, “They decoded the

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pump and that cost me the next morning more than $300 to make them straight.”

The station owner said he is very grateful police noticed the suspects and were able to stop the crime before they got away with more gas.

Police said they did have a few gas cans in one of the vehicles; however, those had not been filled.