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Published on May 22nd, 2012 | by RLn Staff


L.A. Rec and Parks Employee Arrested for Pilfering 800 Gallons from the City


“I’ve slowed down a lot. I drive here from San Diego and I set the cruise control for 55 miles per hour. I’ve gon e from using three-eighths of a tank to less than a quarter. And for work, we use five, five-gallon tanks a day for the welding equipment. My boss’s truck costs $90 for just one trip, because it’s diesel. I’m supposed to be getting a raise soon and it’s all going to go towards gas now.” Scott Crabtree June 12, 2008 edition of RLn

A month after the uproar when Los Angeles City Controller Wendy Greuel released a scathing report that $7 million in fuel expenditures were unaccounted for, a city employee and a city resident were arrested after a lengthy investigation into gasoline thefts from City fueling facilities.

Southeast Detectives received a tip that someone was stealing gasoline from City fueling facilities in April and that the suspect was possibly a Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks employee. Surveillance was set up on fuel stations at Southeast and 77th Street Area Community Police Stations and a Department of Transportation fueling site. After many hours of surveillance two suspects were identified.

On May 21, 2012, 46-year-old Michael Anthony Lee, a 12-year veteran of the Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks, assigned to Algin Sutton Recreation Center, and an accomplice, 47-year-old Shane Anthony Gansterer, a resident of Los Angeles, were arrested by Southeast Detectives. Lee was booked for Embezzlement and is being held on $50,000 bail. Gansterer was booked for Receiving Stolen Property and is being held on $20,000 bail. Lee was reportedly on duty when the thefts occurred. He is believed responsible for stealing more than 800 gallons of gasoline over a three month period of time.

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