LAKELAND, Fla. – A 70-year-old Winter Haven man is in jail after police say they saw him steal more than 900 gallons of gasoline from area stations.
Hobert Gibson is facing grand theft charges in multiple counties.
Polk County authorities believe Gibson used a stolen box trailer outfitted with two tanks and a trapdoor to illegally siphon gasoline from underground storage tanks.
A police investigation suggests Gibson may have stolen 3,000 to 10,000 gallons of fuel a week, at least since January but possibly longer. They believe he would sell the stolen fuel, which he allegedly stored at his towing company.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says this case is a "shocking wake-up call" to the serious issue of gas theft.
Gibson is being held without bail at the Hernando County Jail.