Fremont family-run gas station hit with rash of diesel thefts

A Fremont family-owned gas station is grappling with a rash of break-ins and thefts.

In a recent event, thieves stole thousands of gallons of diesel overnight at the Valero station at the intersection of Fremont Boulevard and Mowry Avenue.

Surveillance images captured a white pickup outfitted with special tanks parked at the diesel pump in the middle of the night.

Station manager Shahin Olyaie said thieves used a universal key to access the fuel pumps. "They were able to manipulate the computer system inside the fuel pump and authorize unlimited gas," Olyaie said.

Olyaie said this was the third diesel theft at the gas station.


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Fremont detectives opened an investigation into the theft. Olyaie said he was told the fuel is most likely being sold on the black market to construction companies or others that use diesel for heavy machinery.

He claimed the theft totaled "tens of thousands" of gallons.

The gas station was started by Olyaie's father in 1981. He said the business has never before experienced such rampant criminal activity.

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On June 27,  security video showed two men with metal saws approach the main door of the mini-mart, likely trying to steal the ATM inside. Olyaie's new camera system alerted him, and the pair fled.

The cash box at the station's car wash has been burglarized twice. The cost to replace the machine was over $10,000.

A few weeks ago, an employee's vehicle was broken into while he was at work.

"I am mad about it. I have got to pay $150 out of my pocket to fix the window," said the car owner, Dave Pittman. "But what can I do about it?"

Olyaie said the toll of this crime is not easy to describe.

"Unfortunately, with all the consistent theft, it is not just the financial hardship—which, don’t get me wrong, has been difficult for us—but mentally. We don’t sleep at night," Olyaie said.

Fremont police told KTVU the investigation into the diesel theft is ongoing, and they are pursuing leads.