FARMERS BRANCH, Texas — Residents thought something was wrong when they smelled a strong odor and kept seeing trucks drive up to a garage at their apartment complex in the middle of the night.
“The garage door would always stay closed, and someone would honk, which was annoying in the middle of the night," a neighbor, who asked not to be identified, told WFAA.
The resident was so suspicious, he set up cameras to capture what was going on: people in trucks pulling up - and fueling up.
"The garage door would open, the hose would come out and they would start filling up," the neighbor explained.
A task force made up of Dallas Police Financial Crimes Unit and agents from General Services Administration and Office of Inspector General started monitoring what was happening, and, early Thursday morning, raided the apartment in Farmers Branch.
WFAA was there when agents and officers confiscated a truck with a large plastic tank in the back filled with what police said was stolen diesel fuel.
"From there, he was operating his own gas station and reselling the fuel at a lower cost,” explained Lt. Julio Gonzalez with the Dallas Police Financial Crimes Unit.
Police arrested Yelson Valdez Martinez and said he was buying the diesel with stolen credit and debit cards accessed with skimmer device he allegedly installed at gas pumps.
"The bad guys will have a skimmer installed on there, and that info on the mag strip will be transmitted to the bad guy, and he will recreate your card with devices purchased on amazon and have a working credit card with the info,” Gonzalez explained.
Police said victims usually don't know their numbers have been stolen until hundreds or thousands of dollars are charged. Police said they're now looking for any more possible victims.
Police said this case was dangerous because the diesel was being sold at an apartment complex with families living nearby.
"The smell was very strong, and diesel is dangerous," Gonzalez said.
Police believe this may be part of a larger operation and said people should be aware this is happening in the Dallas Fort Worth area.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that the apartment complex is in Farmers Branch.