Two men accused of stealing nearly 500 gallons of diesel fuel from the Mecca Travel Center pleaded not guilty to felony charges Thursday.

Pablo Jose Huertas, 25, and Eliseo Laglera, 20, were each charged with grand theft of over $950, according to court records.

They both pleaded not guilty to the charge at the Larson Justice Center in Indio Thursday afternoon.

Huertas, of Los Angeles, was booked into the Larry D. Smith Correctional Facility in Banning, and Laglera, of Huntington Park, was booked into the John J. Benoit Detention Center.

They were both held on $250,000 bail.

Deputies responded to a report of diesel being stolen at around 4:30 p.m. Monday when they allegedly found Huertas and Laglera pumping fuel into a storage tank, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Authorities said the two suspects allegedly pumped around 470 gallons of fuel, worth over $2,700, without paying by manipulating the fuel pump mechanism.

Authorities said the suspects are part of a larger theft ring, and ask that anyone with information about the crimes contact Deputy Pasch or Deputy Zazueta with the Thermal Sheriff’s Station at 760-863-8990.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.