We Didn't Know Gas Was Hot: DOT Workers

Discount gas was cheap because it was stolen, cops say

Three Brooklyn highway department workers had no idea that the diesel fuel they got for half-price had been stolen, they told police.

When Highway Department Director Tom Rukstela, George Collelo and Joseph Zurowski bought the fuel for $2 to use in their homes, they didn't know it was stolen, so they were a bit surprised about why they were arrested, Rukstela said, according to the Norwich Bulletin. When they bought the gas, others were paying $4 for the same thing.

The reason for the discount was that the sellers never paid a dime for it, according to cops. It had been stolen from northeastern Connecticut more than a year ago, police said.

Rukstela told the Bulletin that they believed they were purchasing used or “pump-out” fuel, which is sold from oil tanks removed from the ground. The used fuel cannot be resold at regular price because dirt could be in it from the tank’s removal, he said.

Brooklyn officials say they won't consider possible discipline against the three workers until after their court cases are finished.

Three other people have been charged with the theft.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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