By Greg Ritchie
CROCKETT – Crockett Police Department (CPD) captured a suspect wanted for theft of fuel and using stolen credit cards. CPD released the following statement regarding the case:
“On Aug. 28, an officer with CPD responded to a business on SL 304 in reference to theft of fuel. The investigation showed an unidentified individual pumping fuel at the business on several occasions, usually late at night or in the early morning hours when the business was closed. Each time, the individual drove different vehicles and paid for the fuel using fraudulent credit cards. The business’ total loss at the time of the report was about $1,111.
On Sept. 23, at about 8:30 p.m., an off-duty Houston County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) deputy was driving by the business and noticed one of the vehicles that had been previously driven by the suspect, pumping fuel there, again. The deputy notified CPD officers, who responded and detained the suspect. During the investigation, officers found the suspect’s vehicle had been modified with two 300 gallon tanks to store fuel. Officers also found 31 gift cards inside the truck that had 31 different victims’ credit/debit card information programmed onto them.
Officers identified the suspect as Michel Perez Mendez (age 40, from Cleveland, Texas). At the time, officers found Perez Mendez had a warrant for his arrest out of Angelina County for Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information (2nd Degree Felony). He was placed under arrest and taken to the Houston County Jail. Officers later obtained more warrants for Perez Mendez’s arrest for another count of Fraudulent Use/Possession of Identifying Information and two counts of Credit/Debit Card Abuse (State Jail Felony). He was served with the warrants while still in custody at the Houston County Jail, where he remains on a total $60,000 bail.
CPD thanks the Houston County Sheriff’s Office and the Texas Comptrollers Office for their assistance with this case.
Greg Ritchie can be reached at [email protected]