Florida bill would make possessing fuel skimmers illegal

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — In the last couple of years, new items called pulsar manipulation devices. They make it appear as though less fuel is being pumped, allowing thieves to fill large tanks often without notice.

This week in Tallahassee, a senate committee approved a bill that would crack down on fuel theft, including making it illegal to even possess one of these devices.


“I’m so excited that it got put into this bill because it is a real problem,” Sen. Linda Stewart said.

Stewart said the devices cost customers but really hurts station owners.

Read: Police: Gas thief used special device in pump to siphon nearly $1k in diesel from Orlando Wawa

A Circle-K in Mascotte got hit six times last fall with thieves using a tube-like device to manipulate the pump and get $43,000 in diesel.

Fuel station owner Chris Sassin likes the idea of giving police and prosecutors more options for bringing additional charges against people who steal fuel.

Read: Gas thieves steal $2000 worth of diesel from Eustis gas station

“I mean, that can destroy your business,” he said. “They might have to shut down after that if it’s a small business like ourselves.”

The bill passed unanimously by a Senate committee and there is an identical bill being looked at in the House.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal, WFTV.com

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.

Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, WFTV.com

Sarah Wilson joined WFTV Channel 9 in 2018 as a digital producer after working as an award-winning newspaper reporter for nearly a decade in various communities across Central Florida.