Suspects accused in series of fuel thefts using van, car decoy

Posted: Updated:
Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron
Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron
Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron
Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron
Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron Suspects allegedly try to steal hundreds of gallons of gas from Circle K. By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – Three men were arrested after allegedly pulling up to a convenience store and attempting to steal fuel.

Officers responded to a Circle K store located at 1802 W. Union Hills Drive on Monday just after 12:30 a.m. after receiving a report of possible gasoline theft.

The clerk at the store told police he heard an interior store alarm go off that lets them know when the fuel pumps are losing large volumes of gasoline.

The clerk saw a white Chevy van and a white Nissan Altima parked at the pumps. The clerk recalled a flyer distributed by Circle K security that warned clerks about a white van that was possibly involved in fuel theft.

Officers arrived on the scene within a minute after the clerk called 911. Police arrested two of the three suspects, 36-year-old Jared Desanti and 38-year-old George Brabakos. The third suspect, 35-year-old Robert Jeter, had reportedly fainted due to the gasoline fumes and was taken to the hospital and arrested once he regained consciousness.

Police say the suspects parked the van over the underground fuel tank and parked the Nissan Altima nearby with its hood up to give the impression that the car was having engine problems and the van was providing some type of assistance.

After further investigation, officers discovered the van had a false floor and specialized equipment to reach the underground gasoline with a tank capable of holding up to 450 gallons of fuel.

At the time of the suspects’ arrest, the tank had been filled with about 200 gallons of gasoline. It was determined the suspects and the van had also allegedly been involved in another fuel theft at a Circle K at 5127 North 43rd Avenue.

The suspects face armed burglary charges because officers served a search warrant on the Nissan Altima and found a handgun.