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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) – “We don’t want scammers. That is because they are taking out of our pockets” said one Gainesville resident.
Seven men have been arrested throughout Florida after hacking fuel pumps, and three of those were caught last week at the Circle K gas station on North Main Street in Gainesville.
“Scammers are going to be there. Scammers were here way before, for a long time” said one woman at the gas pump.
Police say Leonardo Valdes Cordero, Alfredo Marrero, and Jose Luis Verano were charged with using a skimming device, as well as a device to change how gas was dispensed.
The men are accused of stealing nearly 1,500 gallons of fuel in Hillsborough County and another 1,300 gallons in Sumter County.
“The same prices that they have to pay is the same as the mother who is bringing her child to Shands that has cancer, that has to pay for gas” said one woman filling her gas tank.
One man at the gas station says he has seen scamming at the pump before and now uses caution when filling his tank.
“I told everyone already don’t ever put your credit card in the machine, cause they’ve been doing it a while now. Doing it because the rise of gas, doing it because of the war and Ukraine and Russia invasion. I don’t know” said Lawrence Lockhart.
One Shell gas station employee says the hacking is unfair to the customers.
“They always be trying to putting a smile on my face and I try to put a smile on their face. So if you try to come over here to scam the pumps while these nice people are paying their money that they are busting their behind for, it is wrong” said Milagros Fortuna.
She is worried that others will try out the same idea on her pumps.
The Florida Department of Agriculture has been investigating cases of gas theft since February.
These arrests are a part of the result.
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