A man has been charged with enabling 15 vehicles on May 25 to steal 225 gallons at a Speedway gas station in Frankfort by tampering with a pump, police said.
Richard Reeves, 51, was identified as the suspect who removed the lower panel of one of the pumps at Speedway, 22310 S. La Grange Road, and altered a mechanism that made it possible for the gas to pump freely, Frankfort Deputy Police Chief Kevin Keegan said.
Fifteen vehicles had fueled at the tampered pump, which resulted in 225 gallons of gas being stolen at a cost of about $1,300, Keegan said.
A police investigation led to prosecutors to charge Reeves with felony retail theft and misdemeanor criminal damage to property. On Tuesday, Judge Brian Barrett signed a warrant for Reeves’ arrest that carries a $10,000 bond.
The warrant was forwarded to the Illinois Department of Corrections because Reeves is in prison. Since July 5, Reeves been serving a one-year sentence after he was convicted in Cook County of driving on a license that was revoked or suspended for a driving under the influence offense.
Keegan said it’s not known if Reeves pumped all the gallons himself but he’s responsible for altering the pump that caused the loss to occur.
Officers were contacted about the incident on May 25, after an attendant at Speedway noticed several vehicles were parked near one of the pumps, Keegan said.
The attendant went to investigate the matter and noticed the meter to regulate the gallons pumped was not functioning, nor was the dollar amount changing, Keegan said.
However, the attendant could hear gas being pumped, Keegan said.
The attendant then turned off all pumps at the station, Keegan said. Several vehicles then left the Speedway, heading south on La Grange Road, Keegan said.
An evidence technician from the Frankfort Police Department was able to gather several pieces of evidence that led to the identification of Reeves as the suspect, Keegan said.
Detectives learned Reeves was incarcerated at Stateville prison in Crest Hill and met with him on July 27 at the prison, Keegan said. Afterward, they presented their case to the Will County State’s Attorney’s Office, he said.