HOUSTON --- Police charged a Houston man with aggravated robbery on May 8 in connection with the 3 a.m. May 5 hijacking of a tanker truck carrying more than 7,000 gallons of diesel.
The suspect arrested was Kenneth O'Brian Payne, who was taken into custody at his home. After the stolen truck was recovered, police discovered that about half of the 7,400 gallons of diesel fuel was missing, officials told the Houston Chronicle.
Police told the Chronicle that the tanker truck driver was pulling away from a fuel station along Texas 225 when the suspect, apparently armed with a weapon, jumped into the cab. He then allegedly ordered the driver to head toward the South Loop and the Gulf Freeway. Later, the suspect ordered the driver out of the truck, police said.
This isn't Payne's first brush with the law. In 1997, he was sentenced to three years for aggravated assault on a police officer.
Stolen fuel often ends up on the black market, where thieves typically make about 50 percent of the market price, a trucking industry security expert told the Chronicle.