Hundreds of gallons of gas allegedly stolen at 7-Eleven by duo in Bonita Springs

Reporter: Michelle Alvarez Writer: Paul Dolan
Edson Escalona, 35, and Tanilexis Tortolo, 43, mugshots. (CREDIT: Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

Two people from Miami were arrested in Bonita Springs at a 7-Eleven allegedly stealing hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel.

Lee County Sheriff’s Deputies said Edson Escalona, 35, and Tanilexis Tortolo, 43, attached a device to a gas pump changing the price. Changing the price allowed the duo to steal hundreds of gallons of fuel.

An alert clerk at the 7-Eleven along US-41 in Bonita Springs called 911 thinking something was wrong.

“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Naples resident Loryn Standifer said.

“This is the first time I’ve heard of anybody sitting there and stealing with this device,” Port Charlotte resident Richard Moses said.

WINK News was told the stolen fuel was held in the device seen below in the back of a Chevy Silverado.

The device possibly contained the stolen fuel from the Bonita Springs 7-Eleven. (CREDIT: WINK News)

The sheriff’s office said in a tractor-trailer the duo pumped 200 gallons while paying for only 15 gallons.

“It’s not right. I mean, you know, there are so many people that are struggling,” Standifer said. “And, you know, everyone’s doing the best that they can to get by in these times. And it’s just a shame that people like that take advantage.

Not satisfied with the tractor-trailer takeaway, they then paid for six gallons in a black pick-up and got 150 gallons. Finally, in a silver Silverado, they paid for six gallons and pumped 98.

The duo now faces charges including obtaining fuel by fraudulent means.

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