GREENFIELD — Two Johnson County men stole thousands of dollars worth of fuel from a Greenfield gas station to use for the trucking company where they work, police said.
Jaswinder Singh, 58, and Harpreet Sandhu, 53, both of Whiteland, emptied the underground fuel tanks at Pacific Pride Fuel Island, a commercial fueling station at 320 E. South St., at least four times, stiffing the company about $6,500 worth of diesel fuel, according to court documents.
The men are believed to be employed by California Freight Inc., a Whiteland-based shipping company: Sandhu is listed as the owner of property where California Freight is located, and Singh is believed to be a driver for the company, court documents state.
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Security cameras at the gas station in Greenfield caught Singh and Sandhu attempting to steal diesel fuel four times between December and May, according to court records.
On Dec. 1, a manager at Pacific Pride Fuel Island tried to fill up a work truck only to discover the reserve fuel tank, which had contained more than 800 gallons of diesel fuel, was empty.
Surveillance video from the business shows a semitrailer-truck pull into the station in the middle of the night and park directly over a manhole cover leading to the fuel tanks, court documents state.
Managers called police twice again in the spring — on April 13 when 983 gallons were stolen and April 26 when 1,053 gallons were stolen, police said.
In all three instances, security cameras show what appears to be the same semi — later found to be registered to Singh — parked in the same spot in the gas station parking lot in the middle of the night, according to court documents.
On May 4, a patrol officer noticed the same semi parked at the fuel station after an alert with the truck’s description had been issued by investigators, court documents state.
While an officer was walking up to the truck, he heard a noise coming from under the trailer, and the vehicle began to pull away, court records state.
Sandhu, who was driving, and Singh, who was found in the trailer, were arrested on theft and criminal mischief charges but released on bond while Greenfield police officers looked for a connection to the other theft reports.
Police searched the truck and found a 1,500-gallon tank inside the trailer, along with two hoses connected to battery powered pumps, court documents state. Five floor boards had been cut out, allowing access to the underside of the trailer, reports state.
Call records from both men’s cellphones show they were in Greenfield at the time of the four thefts, court documents state.
Police dismissed the former case and filed a new one using the newfound evidence. Warrants were issued for Singh and Sandhu’s arrest early this month. They were jailed Friday morning but released on $10,000 cash bond.
Both men face a Level 5 felony charge of corrupt business influence; three Level 6 felony charges of theft; and Class A misdemeanor of theft. They each face 14½ years and up to $45,000 in fines.
Singh and Sandhu could not be reached for comment. An employee who answered the phone at California Freight said the men were not at the business Tuesday.
An initial hearing for the men has not been set, court records showed.