Manteca- A couple was arrested in Manteca after their rented moving truck got stuck in the mud while they attempted to steal gas from surrounding construction equipment, according to the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department.
At about 11 p.m. on Christmas night, deputies received a call regarding “suspicious activity” in the area of Northbound Highway 99 & East French Camp Road.
When deputies arrived at the scene, they found a white Budget rental truck in the middle of a construction site. The rental truck was stuck in the mud next to a truck, a semi-truck, and a Bobcat construction vehicle.
In the rental truck was 38-year-old Erik Miller and his partner, 42-year-old Shannon Miller. The two told deputies that they were traveling from Fresno to San Francisco and were running short on money, as a result of a hotel mistakenly charging too much money on a pre-paid credit cart. They admitted to trying to steal gas from the surrounding construction equipment so they could move ahead with their plans, saying that the expensive hotel bill forced them to steal gas.
Erik Miller also admitted that he had tried hot wiring one of the pieces of equipment so they could try and free their truck from the mud.
Despite their “creative” story about not having money for gas, deputies discovered a 100 gallon fuel tank that was setup in the back of their rental truck, along with an electric fuel pump as well as numerous siphon hoses.
Deputies also learned that Erik Miller had an outstanding warrant for his arrest in Santa Clara County and that Shannon Miller had a domestic violence restraining order against Erik.
The two were arrested and later booked into the San Joaquin County Jail on charges of theft and possession of burglary tools.
Erik Miller also faces charges of tampering with a vehicle and violation a restraining order. He was also taken into custody for the warrant out of Santa Clara County.
Photo Courtesy San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department