Police say 33-year-old Joseph Marchbanks of Stockton was caught early Monday morning using a siphon tube attached to an electric pump, to steal gasoline from an underground storage tank at a local filling station.
Police believe the suspect is responsible for an undetermined number of thefts from other stations.
Officer Sean Fenner says Marchbanks had set up a makeshift gas station at his house.
"He was pumping this gasoline into a big 750-gallon storage tank. After that he would sell the gasoline to local residents in the neighborhood for a dollar fifty a gallon."
Marchbanks is free on his own recognizance after being arrested on theft charges. He could not be reached for comment.
A Central Valley station owner declined to go into detail, but said it's not difficult to break into an underground tank. He added it's risky to siphon gas with a pump because a spark would create an explosion.
Police say the most common way thieves steal from gas stations is to crack the security code of a pump.
(Photo courtesy :Stockton Police Department)