Crime

‘Basically a rolling bomb’: Police say he was filling a 270-gallon container with gas

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

Gasoline drips from a nozzle at gas station Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Lake Oswego, Ore.
Gasoline drips from a nozzle at gas station Thursday, Feb. 23, 2012, in Lake Oswego, Ore. AP

A man in Miami has been arrested after he was caught allegedly attempting to fill a massive container in his truck with hundreds of gallons of gasoline, according to local media reports.

According to WSVN, Osvaldo Pelaez, 34, was arrested Tuesday around noon at a Miami gas station after an employee noticed gas leaking out of his van.

When firefighters and police arrived, they say they opened Pelaez’s van and found a 270-gallon container inside, per NBC 6. It had about 150 gallons in it at the time.

Pelaez was also found to have fraudulent credit cards and gift cards on him, according to police, which he used to buy the gas. According to Patch, he was charged with illegal possession of a tank or container for non-commercial purposes and unlawful transportation of hazardous waste.

According to WPLG, police say that Pelaez’s actions were dangerous for a number of reasons. Because the container was not designed to carry gasoline, firefighters say there was a serious possibility that fumes could have leaed out.

“The driver could have become overcome by the fumes had he been driving and went unconscious, causing him to crash,” Miami Fire Rescue Capt. Ignatius Caroll told the station.

And had there been an accident, the vehicle, with its unregulated container, could very easily have caused an explosion.

“It's a rolling bomb,” Carroll told Patch. “If the vehicle got into an accident, any kind of ignition source could cause this thing to blow up.”

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