A 42-year-old man on probation has been arrested in Glendale for allegedly using bogus gift cards to buy fuel, which he is suspected of storing in a 500-gallon tank on an unregistered pickup truck, police said Wednesday.
Kenyatta Couch of Canoga Park was arrested Tuesday night, according to Glendale Police Department Sgt. Dan Suttles.
About 10 p.m. Tuesday, an officer saw a white Chevrolet pickup truck with a missing license plate and no working tail lights being driven south on Chevy Chase Drive near Harvard Street, Suttles said.
“As the officer caught up with the vehicle to conduct a traffic stop, it pulled into a gas station on the 1100 block of East Colorado Boulevard,” Suttles said.
The driver finished pumping gas and exited the station and as the officer moved in to make a traffic stop, the pickup pulled into a second gas station, this one in the 300 block of South Verdugo Road, where the driver got out and appeared to fill up with fuel, Suttles said.
“Again, once the driver of the truck finished pumping fuel, he entered the truck and drove out of the gas station only to pull into a third gas station located on the 1400 block of East Colorado Boulevard,” Suttles said. “This time, the officer decided to detain the driver of the vehicle for the aforementioned violations.”
The officer learned Couch’s identity and that he was on probation for an unspecified felony conviction, according to Suttles.
“When the officer checked the license plate of the vehicle he learned the plate did not belong to that truck and the truck was actually not registered,” Suttles said. “The officer also learned that Mr. Couch had a suspended license and should not have been driving at all.”
A search of the truck revealed 143 gift cards, 10 of which were tested and found to have been recoded with other people’s credit card information, which Suttles said is a form of identity theft.
“Further investigation revealed that the bed of the truck had an approximately 500-gallon fuel bladder that was being used to store gasoline that had been purchased with the fraudulent cards,” Suttles said, adding that Couch was arrested on suspicion of identity theft and driving with a suspended license.