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Two Suspects Indicted In 13,000 Gallon Fuel Theft

October 29, 2008 00:00



On Wednesday, October 29, 2008, a Multnomah County Grand Jury indicted 50-year-old Michael Scott Helean and 41-year-old Helvin Pineda-Avila on three counts on Aggravated Theft in the First Degree and one count on Theft in the First Degree. The charges are in connection with the theft of more that 13,000 gallons of diesel fuel and the conspiracy to steal an additional 13,000 gallons of diesel from Vigor Industrial located at 5500 block of North Channel Avenue. The investigation began earlier this month when representatives of the business became concerned about the possible internal theft of diesel fuel. Detectives from North Precinct were assigned to the investigation. While conducting surveillance, investigators determined that the suspects, who were both employees of the business, were using trucks to remove large quantities of diesel fuel from the business either late at night or early in the morning.

During interviews, detectives learned that the suspects were selling the fuel to individuals and businesses for $2.00 a gallon. Detectives recovered 870 gallons of stolen fuel from the suspects and have arranged for the return of an additional 3000 gallons of fuel from a Portland area business. Detectives have confirmed that at least 13,000 gallons of fuel with a value of more than $52,000 was taken from the business and that the suspects had arranged for the theft of 13,000 gallons of additional fuel. Vigor Industrial believes the total number of gallons stolen may be higher than the amount currently accounted for and is in the process of determining the total value of the theft.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Heidi Housley at (503) 823-4681.

This investigation is continuing.


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Sgt. Pete Simpson
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Portland Police Bureau
1111 SW 2nd Ave, Suite 1526
Portland, Oregon 97204



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