Two arrested, third suspect at large in county gas theft ring - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Two arrested, third suspect at large in county gas theft ring

Posted: Updated:
Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office
Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office Courtesy Cleveland County Sheriff's Office
SHELBY, NC (WBTV) -

Deputies in Cleveland County are looking for a third person in a gas theft ring that has hit several businesses in the county.

On Wednesday, deputies found a suspicious vehicle parked at N&K Convenience Store which was being used to siphon gasoline from the tanks of the business, according to a news release from the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office. 

Upon further inspection deputies realized the vehicle had a tank inside it and was being parked over the gasoline reservoir of the business.

It appeared to the deputies at the time that the occupants of the vehicle were siphoning fuel from the business. Deputies were unable to locate anyone around the vehicle. Deputies watched the vehicle but never identified anyone around the vehicle. Deputies were then called away to a fight call. 

During this time the vehicle was driven away from the business. Deputies however located the vehicle at a home on Hendrick Lake Rd.  Deputies discovered that the vehicles back seat was removed an and elaborate operation was set up in the back seat that enable someone to siphon gas from the vehicle.

Through investigation deputies were able to identify three adult suspects and a juvenile as the perpetrators of the crime. Two of the suspects have been arrested for larceny of motor fuel and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. They are Brandon Keith Littlejohn, 23, and Brandon David Walker, 19. Deputies are still looking for the third suspect David Michael Vogen, 30.

Deputies were also able to locate another business which was victimized by the suspects on Wednesday and two other businesses' who have been the recent victims of motor fuel theft. Deputies also found out through investigation that the fight call to which they were called was made by the suspects in a deliberate attempt to call deputies away from their vehicle so they could flee from the business. Both suspects received $2000 bonds.

Sheriff Norman says "This just shows how creative the criminal element has become. It is unfortunate that criminals aren't using these creative skills to be productive law abiding citizens.The law enforcement community is discovering everyday new ways criminals are creating ways to commit their crimes."

Copyright 2013 WBTV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow