PUNTA GORDA, FL – Just before midnight on Thursday, July 29th, a road patrol deputy conducted a business check of a Punta Gorda gas station located on Jones Loop Road. The deputy noticed a suspicious flatbed water tank truck near the gas pump featuring an external 55-gallon drum on the truck bed. At the time of the incident, the gas station was not open for business making it impossible for fuel to be legally purchased.
As the deputy parked behind the truck, the driver, identified as Alejandro Rafael Ortego Perez, 28, of Miami began walking towards the driver door of the semi truck. The driver was asked to step down from the vehicle and to show his identification.
After speaking with Ortego Perez and receiving consent to search his person and vehicle, deputies located multiple blank swipe cards, a 55-gallon drum filled with diesel fuel, as well as diesel fuel covering the floorboard of the vehicle, giving off an intense odor.
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After obtaining a search warrant, detectives were able to identify the vehicle used in commission of the crime was reported stolen out of Lee County. It should also be noted that Ortego Perez was arrested for unlawful conveyance of fuel on May 2, 2021 in Charlotte County.
Alejandro Rafael Ortego Perez was placed into custody and transported to the Charlotte County Jail on charges of unlawful conveyance of fuel, grand theft of a motor vehicle and loitering or prowling.