RIPON — Police in Ripon arrested a Ceres man they say stole more than $2,000 worth of fuel from the Ripon Unified School District.
According to authorities, police got a call at 12:53 a.m. Wednesday from someone who reportedly saw someone siphoning fuel from a large storage tank at Ripon High School.
Ripon officers arrived on the scene within minutes and saw a white Dodge 3500 truck with a large utility trailer attached.
The truck was parked next to the fuel storage tank at the school. Officers saw industrial hoses running from tanks in the trailer to the school fuel storage tank and found a man inside the trailer.
Police arrested Joe Henry Leonardo, 44. The truck that was involved in the theft was registered to Leonardo, and police said he had hoses and pumping equipment allowing the rapid theft of fuel.
Police claim that Leonardo off-loaded about 500 gallons of fuel valued at $2,250. The fuel is used to run school buses.
The Ripon Unified School District will be back in session next week.