Four Men Allegedly Hack Gas Stations With ‘Homemade’ Gadgets To Lower Prices

Hack Gas Stations With 'Homemade' Gadgets

Four Florida men were busted for installing devices inside gas pumps that dropped prices down to nearly nothing — an alarming trend that officials said will only spread with fuel costs soaring.

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) said the suspects installed sophisticated “pulsators” (homemade) inside pumps that regulate price and fuel flow.

Image: AP

A fuel pulsar is used to control the pump’s electronic display, and when manipulated causes the price display to be changed, the report said.

The devices sent per-gallon cost plunging down to just pennies and allowed pumpers to fill up almost for free. The fraudsters allegedly pulled off the scheme at two separate Circle K stations in Lakeland and Lutz.

Image: NY Post

Rogelio Llerena and Yulier Garcia-Martinez were busted on March 12 while topping off an oversize gas tank in Lakeland. Garcia-Martinez even had a remote device to manipulate the pulsators, officials said.

Yordian Diaz-Benitez, of Tampa, was arrested at a Lutz station for stealing diesel fuel on March 10. Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez was cuffed two days later for attempting to place the device inside a pump at the same station.

Sky rocketing gas costs

Ned Bowman, president of the Florida Department of Agriculture, said skyrocketing gas costs have fraudsters licking their chops. “These are criminal rings,” Bowman told The New York Post. “I think you are going to see this expand.”

Image: NY Post

Bowman said the schemers pull up to compromised pumps with large trucks containing oversize tanks and fill up on the cut-rate fuel before reselling it at a steep profit.

With Florida gas prices flirting with $5 per gallon and gas thieves able to fill up for pocket change, Bowman said, the practice damages both merchants and regular patrons. “It is a big deal,” he said.

Law enforcement agencies have warned station owners to look out for trucks stopped at pumps for unusually long periods. Worried station clerks are also cross-checking their inventory outflow and income to check for hacked pumps.

“With gas prices hitting record highs, fuel theft can further drive up costs for all consumers,” said FDACS Commissioner in a statement.

It came as the cost of regular gas reached an average of $4.37 per gallon, or $5.15 for diesel, in Florida. It is reportedly the highest recorded in the state’s history. That is up from $2.90 and $3 per gallon respectively at the same time last year, according to AAA Gas Prices.

Petrol prices in Pakistan are also rising at a rapid pace, and while citizens are enraged by the government’s decision, they utilize the opportunity to create memes.

What do you think of this story? Let us know in the comments section below.

To Top