Thieves in Mexico Build Tunnel, Camouflage Trucks to Steal Oil

March 2016, Vol. 243, No. 3

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Authorities in central Mexico say thieves built a camouflaged truck to transport fuel stolen from government pipelines. Police found a tunnel built by pipeline thieves in the same state of Guanajuato last week.

The discoveries show the sophistication of thieves who drill taps into state-owned pipelines thousands of times every year to steal gasoline and diesel.

The Guanajuato state government said Monday it found a gravel truck in which a huge fuel tank had been welded into the bed, covered by a hatch and a layer of gravel to avoid detection.

Guanajuato prosecutors said that on April 2 they found a 15-yard (meter) long tunnel built under fuel pipelines.

The tunnel allowed thieves to drill taps undetected and transport fuel by hoses to a lot where trucks collected stolen fuel.

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