COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – An Aurora man who found himself victimized by credit card thieves three times in a matter of months has decided enough is enough.
He and two of his friends are offering a $1,500 dollar reward to help catch the perpetrators, and he is hoping that Citi VISA will step forward and do the same thing.
Dean Antweiler says he doesn’t know how information from three separate cards was stolen but he hopes to find out.
He took it upon himself to track down security video of three of the thefts and then contacted Commerce City police. They obtained the video.
Antweiler gave Denver7 copies. They show a white, full-size Ford pickup, quad-cab, with a black tonneau cover over the bed, shielding a spare fuel tank or bladder.
In two of the videos, a man wearing a yellow-green reflective vest swipes a credit card with the victim's account information two separate times, then proceeds to stand there for 25 minutes while purchasing just over $300 worth of fuel at both locations.
In another video, a man wearing a similar hat, but without the reflective vest, does the same thing at a different King Soopers location.
Card issues began last Summer
Antweiler told Denver7 that he first noticed a problem last summer, when he received a Citi VISA credit card statement in the mail containing some charges for fuel and a restaurant in Katy, Texas.
He knew the charges weren’t his, because he hadn’t been to Katy.
“I contacted Citi, they closed the account and mailed me a new card,” he said.
While waiting for it to arrive, Antweiler began using his Bank of America Mastercard as a backup.
In August, Bank of America called and asked if three large fuel purchases, totaling $427.20, were his.
The fuel purchases were made at two different King Soopers fuel stations over a two-day period.
· 8/3 Brighton $133.74
· 8/4 Edgewater $159.59
· 8/4 Edgewater $133.87
Antweiler said the charges weren’t his, so Bank of America closed the account and issued him a new card.
Everything seemed back to normal once the new cards arrived in the mail, until he received his September Citi VISA statement in early October.
Right away, he noticed ten large charges, over a five-day period, at five different King Soopers stations.
“The VISA was every day of the week, 300, 300, 300, 300,” he said. “I looked and thought, I must have gone crazy last month.”
· 9/17 Arvada $159.71 and $159.71
· 9/18 Commerce City $159.43 and $159.73
· 9/19 Denver $143.57 and $143.57
· 9/20 Arvada $146.16 and $150.00
· 9/21 Edgewater $159.71 and $159.58
He called King Soopers and eventually talked to their loss prevention director.
Antweiler said the grocery chain told him they wouldn’t release security video to him, only to police.
That’s when he filed a report with CCPD.
“I was disappointed that they couldn’t get any traction on this,” he said. “They sent out a BOLO (be on the lookout) to other departments, but there was no response. So, the case is now inactive.”
Commerce City authorities gave Denver7 a copy of the police report, but did not reply to a request for comment.
Black Market for Diesel Fuel
Law enforcement sources tell Denver7 there is a “black market” for diesel fuel in metro Denver but it is not known whether the thief or thieves, in this case, are re-selling the fuel to other truck operators or are using the fuel for their own business.
If they have their own business, they may be in violation of federal rules regarding the safe transportation of hazardous materials.
Duane DeBruyne, of the Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration, told Denver7 that commercial operators must hold a Commercial Driver’s License and, if they’re hauling hazardous materials, must undergo a security background check and have placards on the vehicle.
He said they would also need to have a DOT number and have an emergency preparation response plan.
The Colorado State Patrol says private citizens can transport “any amount they’d like in approved containers.”
CSP says federal rules apply if the fuel is transported across state lines.
New Hampshire Court Case
Last year, a federal grand jury in New Hampshire indicted Lewis Scott Niles on multiple counts of transporting hazardous material in violation of regulations.
The counts allege that neither the container, nor the vehicle in which Lewis transported the container, were marked with hazardous materials placards.
Niles allegedly sold and delivered about 250 gallons of diesel fuel and fuel oil in a “bulk packaging” container to a customer in Lancaster, New Hampshire.
He also allegedly sold and delivered about 1,500 gallons of a “flammable liquid” in six “bulk packaging” containers to a company in Auburn, New Hampshire and about 175 gallons or more of diesel fuel to a customer in Jefferson, New Hampshire.
Antweiler has contacted Federal authorities here to see if they might be able to help him find the pickup and drivers involved in the fuel and credit card thefts.
He said his concern is more than just theft.
“This guy is running up and down the street in a truck with a couple hundred gallons of gas in it,” he said. “Everybody thinks it’s a regular truck and it’s not. That thing is a bomb running up and down the street.”