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Four Florida men caught hacking gas for a cheap fill-up


AP Photo/John Raoux


As fuel costs climb across the country, four Florida men were busted installing devices that dropped gas to nearly nothing. According to The New York Post and, the department of Agriculture and Consumer Services said the suspects installed “pulsators’ ‘ inside pumps that regulate price and fuel flow. The devices made gallon costs plunge down to just pennies and allowed pumpers to fill up for almost free.

Ned Bowman, the president of the Florida Petroleum Marketers Association, explained how the device worked. “They go in and they change the pulsator. The pulsator is the device that is inside the gas pump that regulates the flow of the fuel,” he said. “So they’re able to change the price of the fuel down to a nickel or a penny to the gallon and fill the back of their trucks up–their bladders or spare tanks–with fuel that’s basically free.”

The alleged thefts took place in early March at two Circle K locations in Florida. State officials detained Marlon Rosel-Rodriguez and Yordan Diaz Benitez in Lutz while trying to install a device and arrested Yulier Garcia-Martinez and Rogelio Llarena in Lakeland. According to officials, Garcia-Martinez also had a remote device to use for the pulsators.

Florida gas prices reaching $5 per gallon and gas thieves able to fill up for pocket change, Bowman said, the practice damages both merchants and regular patrons.

Law enforcement agencies have cautioned station owners to look out for vehicles stopped at pumps for long periods of time, and notified station attendees to check inventory outflow and income for suspicious pump activity.