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Man accused of manipulating Houston-area gas pump to get 390 gallons at reduced rate

Miguel Perez Manzano, 33, was arrested Monday outside a gas station in Spring and charged with the unlawful use of a criminal instrument.

Diesel Fuel Theft Spring
via Facebook
A 33-year-old Houston man was arrested Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, and charged with a felony for allegedly using a remote device to manipulate the price of diesel fuel and pump nearly 400 gallons at a reduced rate from a gas station at 26620 Kuykendahl Rd. in Spring.

A man was arrested this week and accused of using a remote device to manipulate the price of diesel fuel at a Houston-area gas station and pump nearly 400 gallons at a reduced rate.

Miguel Perez Manzano, 33, of Houston, was arrested Monday and charged with the unlawful use of a criminal instrument, a felony, Harris County court records show. He has since been released from jail on a $25,000 bond, according to court documents, which as of Wednesday did not list a defense attorney for Manzano.

Sgt. Cinthya Umanzor, a spokesperson for the Harris County Precinct 4 Constable's Office, said its deputies arrested Manzano at about 9:15 a.m. Monday at a gas station at 26620 Kuykendahl Rd. in Spring. He was allegedly "found to have a remote in his pocket that was used to keep the pump from registering the proper amount of fuel taken from the pump," the constable's office wrote in a Facebook post about the arrest.

Court documents show that Manzano allegedly pumped 390 gallons of diesel fuel – worth nearly $1,700 based on the $4.33-per-gallon price listed on the pump – by using a pulsar device. Umanzor said such a device was removed from the pump by constable's deputies and is generally used to alter the price of gasoline.

The incident remains under investigation by state authorities, according to Umanzor.

There have been news reports about similar fuel thefts using pulsar devices committed across the country during the last several years, including earlier this year in states such as Florida and North Carolina.

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