BLOOMINGTON — A scheme to hijack fuel pumps to allow semitrailer truck drivers to fill up at a huge discount has landed three people in jail on theft charges.
A search Wednesday by Normal police of a house in the 900 block of West Mulberry Street in Bloomington resulted in the arrests of two men and a woman on initial charges of theft of property valued at more than $10,000 but less than $100,000. Two of the suspects also face preliminary charges of possession of burglary tools and a third also is accused of driving on a suspended license.
The Pantagraph does not name suspects until formal charges are filed.
Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner said the three-month investigation into the theft of diesel fuel involved Normal and Bloomington police, the McLean County Sheriff’s Department and the McLean County state’s attorneys office.
Service stations in Bloomington, Normal, Towanda and Carlock were hit by the suspects, who told drivers they would mechanically alter pumps so the total amount of fuel appeared to be less than the amount taken from the pump, said police.
“That’s a major moneymaker for everyone but the businesses,” Bleichner said of the scheme.
The theft was discovered after business owners were unable to reconcile their revenue with the amount of fuel sold.
Bleichner said the investigation continues into the diesel thefts.