RIPON, Calif. — Police here caught a man allegedly in the act of stealing more than $2,000 worth of fuel used for school buses.
Local news sources reported that just before 1 a.m. on Wednesday, the Ripon Police Department got a call about a theft in progress at Ripon High School. When officers arrived, they found a white truck with a large trailer next to the fuel storage tank at the school.
The Record reported that in the trailer, police said they found hoses and pumping equipment for fast siphoning, about 500 gallons of fuel and a man in hiding, Joe Henry Leonardo Sr. Leonardo was arrested on suspicion of felony grand theft.
School starts next Wednesday for Ripon Unified School District.
Similar fuel thefts have hit some school districts in Texas recently. Authorities in Nacogdoches said last month that thieves had stolen diesel and gasoline — several hundred gallons at a time — from four districts in the area.