By Patrick Yost
Two Atlanta-area men have been arrested and charged with the theft of nearly 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the Pilot Truck Stop on Eatonton Road.
Quentin Anthony Harris, 42, and Oland James Stevenson, Jr., 40, were both arrested on Thursday, July 25 at approximately 3:30 a.m. at the Pilot Truck Stop and charged with two felony counts of theft by taking and four misdemeanor counts of theft by taking in relation to more than 10 thefts of diesel fuel.
According to Madison Police Department reports, a manager at the truck stop alerted authorities on Wednesday, July 24 that during the month of July, approximately 4,800 gallons of diesel fuel worth more than $18,000 had been removed from the same two pumps at the station. Officers reviewed video surveillance and observed a Ford dually, a white, older model Chevy and a flatbed truck loaded with fuel tanks pull into the pumps between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. on several occasions.
Reports state that video showed, on one occasion, the vehicles taking 494 gallons of fuel and paying 41 cents.
At 2:50 a.m. on July 25, Madison Police Officers Stacy Eaton and Cody Morris parked across the street from the Pilot and observed the vehicles arrive at the pump.
Reports state that the officers observed both men pump fuel into their vehicles. With the assistance of deputies from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, the officers were able to detain Harris and Stevenson at the fuel pump.
Reports indicate that Harris had a key that would unlock the facing of the pump. Officer Eaton also noted that someone had placed a pair of vice grips on a hose that controlled the fuel counter, effectively shutting down the counter but still allowing fuel to be dispensed at the regular flow rate.
Officers also located a Pilot gift card that, reports state, matched the same gift card used to initially activate the pump. They also seized an iPhone from Harris and a notebook that diagrammed the three fuel tanks on the truck with times recorded on the length of time it would take to fill the tanks. Reports state that at the time of his arrest Harris was using the iPhone as a timer to monitor dispensed fuel.
On July 23, reports state, two trucks occupied the same pump for nearly two hours between 3:20 a.m. and 4:49 a.m. and pumped 494 gallons of fuel but paid for 4.6 gallons.