Trucking company worker chases diesel fuel thief, captures video of pursuit

VISTA, Calif. - A trucking company worker is speaking out about a tense drive as he chased a thief and captured video that could become critical evidence.

"I was excited and nervous at the same time," said Salvador Martinez.

It was hardly a typical lunch break for Martinez, who maintains trucks at Vista-based trucking company Online Trucking Logistics.

"When I was going down a hill, I spotted that trailer," said Martinez.

A trailer packed with containers was being pulled by a Toyota RAV4 that he saw a week ago while driving near his workplace. Immediately, he knew who it was.

"I was feeling a rush," said Martinez.

A week prior, his co-worker felt a similar feeling after he caught someone trying to siphon off diesel fuel from one of the company's trucks. The man took off in the RAV4 and trailer.

This time, Martinez gave chase and took out his cellphone.

At first, Martinez said the man tried to get away by slowing down, but Martinez wouldn't go away.

"It was kind of intense. He knew he got caught because the moment he saw me, he got nervous, sat back and tried to avoid me.

After a few minutes, the driver made a sharp turn and sped off, forcing Martinez to stop his chase, but not before he shot video of the vehicle of the thief that's hit his company at least four times in the past month and a half, costing the business about $2,500.

"It really hurts; the diesel costs are so high. It impacts our bottom line very quickly," said Martinez.

On Thursday night, 10News aired surveillance video of what appeared to be the same RAV4 leaving ShredEx, a San Marcos business. Investigators believe the same thief has ripped off that company many times.

"I hope they capture the guy and he pays for what he's done," said Martinez.

Anyone with information is asked to call the San Diego County Sheriff's San Marcos substation at 760-510-5200.

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