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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Busted: Deputy Nabs Suspect in City Hall Fuel Thefts

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Good old-fashioned detective work by the San Diego Sheriff’s Department has resulted in the arrest of a 38-year-old Santee man on suspicion of siphoning gasoline from government vehicles parked at Santee City Hall.

The suspect, Chans Milstead, was arrested June 9 and taken to the downtown jail, where his bail was set at $50,000.

Gasoline thefts from city vehicles have been a chronic problem at City Hall.

A break in the case occurred in the early morning hours on Memorial Day (May 27), when video surveillance cameras recorded images of two men prowling the City Hall parking lot. One of the suspects, a man with a goatee, was carrying a large green gas container and a section of hose. A second man, who appears to be younger, was wearing a sweatshirt bearing the name and logo of an El Cajon middle school.

A “wanted” poster made from the video images caught the attention of a Santee sheriff’s investigator, who recognized the bearded man as the person the deputy had recently arrested on various charges, including possession of illegal drugs and a felon in possession of ammunition.

After obtaining a search warrant, the deputy searched the suspect’s car and found a section of hose similar to the one depicted in the City Hall video. Also found were items authorities describe as “burglary tools.”

Investigators would like to talk to the second man in the surveillance video who was wearing a hooded sweatshirt. Anyone  who has information about him should contact the Santee sheriff’s station at (619) 956-4000 during regular business hours.

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