A former Hartford Public Works Department employee is accused of stealing city fuel and selling it.
Police said Tyler Walker filled up a city-owned portable refueling truck with nearly 100 gallons of city gas on several occasions.
According the police, the vehicle is supposed to be used to refuel other city vehicles while they're in the field. However, they learned that it was refueling other things, including private vehicles.
Police said the amount of fuel taken from city pumps was inconsistent with fueling needs.
Public Works officials suspected that it was being stolen and notified police.
Police said the refueling truck was equipped with a tracker. It showed the vehicle traveling throughout the month of March out of town and to a secluded city-owned rail lot behind the Xfinity Theater on New Road.
Police put up a security camera in the rail lot location and recorded the truck appearing to refuel a privately-owned tractor trailer on March 31.
An operation was planned and took place on Tuesday.
Police observed Walker starting his shift at 3 p.m. They saw him refuel the truck, travel to East Hartford and start to refuel a flatbed truck in a garage bay at 91 Charles St. The flatbed was owned by Gardner Transportation, according to police.
Police said they arrested Walker and two suspected co-conspirators.
They said Walker admitted to selling the gas at $150 for 100 gallons several times since February at a number of locations.
Walker and the unnamed co-conspirators were charged with conspiracy to second-degree commit larceny, which is defrauding a public community and a class C felony.
“This morning we fired a of City of Hartford, Department of Public Works employee for theft of city property," said Chief Reginald Freeman, acting director, Hartford DPW. "While this is unfortunate, I am proud of our DPW supervision for using established protocols and quickly noticing the fuel deficit. Our DPW supervisors contacted HPD immediately and assisted as needed in the investigation. Thankfully we’ve established asset protection on many levels through the use of technology. With our strong partnership with HPD, we were able to seamlessly share that technology to assist HPD C4 detectives."
The truck was returned to the DPW and the Gardner flatbed was towed.
Police said future arrest warrants are pending for the previous thefts and transactions.
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