Man caught stealing fuel from truck; arrested

Jeffrey James-Lee Pardee mug shot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – A 42-year-old Grand Rapids man was arrested after authorities say he was caught stealing large amounts of diesel fuel and they suspect he may be part of fuel thefts dating back to October 2013.

Around 1 a.m. Friday, Grand Rapids and Kentwood Police found a suspect in the 3800 block of East Paris SE stealing what they called “a large quantity of diesel fuel” from a truck.

Authorities discovered the suspect, 42-year-old Jeffrey James-Lee Pardee, had holding tanks in his van and was using pumping equipment to remove the fuel from the victim’s truck and into the holding tanks.

Officials say starting in October 2013, they started getting reports of fuel tanks getting punctured and fuel being drained from trucks and vans. The thefts continued throughout the winter.

The Grand Rapids Police Department, Kentwood Police Department, Walker Police Department, Kent County Sheriff’s Department, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, Wyoming Police Department, and the CSX Railroad Police conducted an area-wide coordinated investigation and collected reports of over 40 thefts of large amounts of gasoline, diesel fuel, and equipment.

Authorities were able to arrest the suspect this moring during surveillance of the East Paris address. They determined the suspect had earlier stolen fuel from a vehicle in the 3600 block of 44th Street SE.

Later on Friday morning, detectives executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home in Grand Rapids and recovered a large quantity of stolen property from two reported burglaries.

Pardee is currently facing charges in Grand Rapids and Kentwood.

Authorities are working to find victims that have had gasoline or diesel fuel stolen from their vehicles, but did not file a report with local law enforcement. Grand Rapids Police are asking victims of fuel theft to call them at 616-456-3604.

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