Arrest in Greenpoint heating oil truck, fuel theft: DA

A Greenpoint heating oil company worker was arrested Aug. 26 for allegedly stealing a truck loaded with fuel, according to the Brooklyn district attorney’s office.

The arrest involved an incident that occurred between Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, 2013 at the United Metro Energy Corp. plant at 500 Kingsland Ave. in Greenpoint, a spokesman for the company said.

An oil truck parked at the plant was stolen, along with 2,440 gallons of oil, United Metro said. The company’s internal investigative report, based on video surveillance footage, interviews, phone records, and information from confidential sources, includes evidence showing individuals moving trucks in order to gain access to the vehicle containing the oil, the spokesman said.

The report was submitted to the NYPD and the district attorney’s office in April 2015, the company said. Based on this report and the NYPD’s own investigation, the worker was arrested and charged with the unauthorized use of a vehicle in the third degree, which is a misdemeanor, court records show.

The suspect is scheduled to appear in Kings County Criminal Court Oct. 19. The law enforcement investigation is continuing, the spokesman said.

The cooperation between the company and law enforcement officials was cheered by United Metro’s chief executive officer, who claims oil theft runs rampant in the business.

“I want to commend the NYPD’s Auto Crime Division and the Brooklyn district attorney’s office for their quick and effective attention to this case,” said John Catsimatidis. “We will continue to work closely with our law enforcement agencies to fight crime and corruption in the heating oil industry.”

Heating oil theft has been on the rise in the United States. According to ECS Eclipse, a leading petroleum fueling system management company, this type of crime is often committed by employees of oil companies and is estimated to cost the fuel industry about $8 billion per year. Those who steal oil siphon it and sell it for profit at a cheaper price.

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