SUMMERFIELD - Sheriff's detectives say a Summerfield man and his girlfriend, who are accused of drilling holes in gas tanks to steal gas, slipped up when one of them left a drill behind that had his name etched on it.
The case began last week, when holes were reported in gas tanks.
John Oldenburg, 44, and Darlene Kimbriel, 39, wound up in jail Thursday facing numerous charges, including grand theft, burglary of a conveyance and criminal mischief, according to Marion County Sheriff's Office records. Because deputies say they found a methamphetamine lab at the home, the couple also face drug charges.
In the most recent gas-stealing case, deputies found a drill with "J. Oldenburg" etched in the tool. Asked why his drill was at the scene, Oldenburg blamed his girlfriend. Deputies arrested him on Thursday.
As Kimbriel was posting bail for him, she accused him of drilling for gas while she merely acted as a lookout.
On the morning of June 17 in the 8900 block of Southeast 155th Place in Summerfield, a man told a sheriff's deputy someone had taken a 32-gallon Rubbermaid trash can in the back of his truck. Someone had also punched two holes into the plastic gas tank of his pickup truck and extracted the gas.
Five days later, an employee with Bob's TV, 15655 S. U.S. 441, reported that someone had drilled a hole into a gas tank and taken gas.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, deputies went to Pro Scape Inc., 12110 S. U.S. 441, after a call about an alarm at the business. There they found two buckets, a funnel, a power drill bearing Oldenburg's name and a yellow flashlight next to a white pickup truck. A hole had been drilled into its gas tank.
Detectives went to his home at 8250 S.E. 159th Place, which is near the first crime scene, and took Oldenburg to a district office for questioning.
He acknowledged that the drill was his but reportedly blamed his girlfriend, then said that someone else had stolen his drill, according to the Sheriff's Office. When detectives went back to the residence, Kimbriel had left. Oldenburg was arrested on an obstruction charge for allegedly not being truthful with detectives.
Kimbriel later showed up at the Marion County Jail to post his bail, and detectives spoke with her while she was waiting for him.
She told them Oldenburg had asked her to drive to Bob's TV so he could steal gas. She stated she got scared and left. She said Oldenburg came home with gas and poured it into his gas tank.
As soon as Oldenburg was released, he was re-arrested. Detectives also arrested Kimbriel.
Both declined an interview request from the Star-Banner.
Inside a shed at the couple's home, agents with the Multi-Agency Drug Enforcement Team reported finding a propane tank, several empty camp fuel cans and a water cooler that contained a coffee filter in a funnel atop a jar.
The coffee filter contained a white residue that reportedly tested positive for ephedrine. Drug agents - who also found clear tubing, a lithium battery, other coffee filters and a pill grinder that tested positive for ephedrine - concluded that the items were being used to process methamphetamine.