May 2, 2013

Man arrested for stealing from employer

Seized dump truck
A Key Largo man was arrested today and faces charges of stealing from a former employer, Amerigas.

The company called the Sheriff’s Office in April to report the crimes. They told Detective Robert Dosh a previous employee – 50 year old Elby Alonso – worked for them between July and November of 2012 delivering propane tanks. While working for the company, he was issued a fleet fuel card which he was allowed to use to fuel the truck he was driving while he worked.

Seized pickup truck
The company let him go because they suspected he was stealing propane tanks and selling them on the side. They also suspected he was using his company fuel card to fuel his personal vehicles.

Once he was terminated, his fuel cards were terminated as well.  A short time later, though, the district manager of the company noticed a fuel card belonging to a vehicle that was no longer in service was being used on a regular basis. Between December and April, the card was used to charge approximately $8,000 worth of fuel.

The company’s security technician investigated the use of the card initially. He traced the employee pin number being used with the card to an employee in Key West. He then discovered the card was being used in Key Largo when the employee whose pin was being used was at work in Key West, so he knew someone else was fraudulently using the pin number and signing for the fuel card. The card was being used in Key Largo to purchase large amounts of fuel, including a large amount of diesel. The district manager knew Alonso owned a dump truck and suspected he was the one using the card to fuel the dump truck.

A trace was put on the card so the manger would be notified when it was being used. On Wednesday, Detective Dosh followed Alonso and saw him fuel the dump truck at the Hess Gas Station in Key Largo. At the same time as he was fueling the truck, the manager received notification the card was being used fraudulently.

In addition, a customer of Amerigas told the district manager Alonso had tried to sell him propane tanks belonging to the company for cash. An inventory revealed approximately 20 – 30 propane tanks are missing from the company and unaccounted for.

Alonso was arrested Thursday. He was charged with grand theft, fraudulent use of a credit card, fraudulently using another person’s identity and fraudulently signing another person’s name. His pickup truck and his dump truck were both seized for possible forfeiture.

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