A Canoga Park man was arrested on suspicion of identity theft Tuesday after Glendale police say they spotted him driving to several gas stations and refueling his vehicle each time.
Kenyatta Couch, 42, was also arrested for reportedly driving with a suspended license.
According to the Glendale Police Department, Couch was behind the wheel of a white Chevrolet pickup truck that an officer attempted to stop because it had no front license plate and no working tail lights.
The truck was traveling south on Chevy Chase Drive near Harvard Street around 10 p.m. when it pulled into a gas station in the 1100 block of East Colorado Boulevard as the officer attempted to get near the vehicle.
Sgt. Dan Suttles, a police spokesman, said Couch refueled the car and drove away from the station, with the officer following behind.
When the officer got near the truck again, Couch drove into a second gas station in the 300 block of South Verdugo Road, where he proceeded to fill the vehicle with more fuel, according to Suttles.
The first attempt to stop Couch was stymied by traffic, Suttles said, while on the second stop, the officer wanted to see what would happen next.
Couch then drove to a third station in the 1400 block of East Colorado Boulevard, where Suttles said the officer had seen enough and decided to detain him at the business.
While doing a search on the truck’s license plate, the officer discovered it did not belong to the vehicle and that the car itself was unregistered.
Suttles said the officer also found that Couch was on probation for a narcotics felony, and he also had a suspended license.
A search of the vehicle uncovered about 143 gift cards. Ten of the cards were tested and police found that they had been repurposed to carry the credit card information of other people, according to Suttles.
He added that the information was probably obtained through a credit-card skimmer.
In addition to the cards, the officer also found a 500-gallon metal gas tank hidden in the truck bed.
Suttles said the repurposed gift cards would be used to purchase gas, which would then be re-sold.
He also said there’s usually only two places that would take the ill-gotten fuel: unscrupulous gas stations and construction sites that would purchase it with no questions asked.