Using a bolt cutter to cut a lock, one or more suspects broke into the McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) facility on Letz Avenue, McKinleyville, cut the fuel line to a diesel tank and removed around 132 gallons of red dye diesel leaving a large amount of diesel fuel spilled on the ground. This fuel was found leaking into a drainage ditch adjacent to Widow White Creek.
It was estimated that the break-in occurred during the late night or early morning hours between Sat., May 4th and Sun., May 5th. See the full press release below for more information.
On Sunday, May 5, 2013, at approximately 7:00 am, MCSD staff was contacted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office regarding a theft and vandalism. When a Sheriff Deputy arrived on site at the end of Letz Avenue, he was met by MCSD staff, where it was discovered that a lock on the gate was cut using bolt cutters, which were found at the scene along with other miscellaneous tools.
The suspect(s) then cut the diesel tank intake fuel line and attached a garden hose to it. Once the hose was attached the suspects removed approximately 132 gallons of red dye diesel from the tank. MCSD staff believes the crime occurred during the late night or early morning hours between May 4th and May 5th, 2013
When MCSD staff arrived on the scene, there was a large amount of diesel fuel spilled on the ground, which was leaking into a drainage ditch that is adjacent to Widow White Creek. Due to MCSD staff’s immediate response to contain the spilled diesel, they were successful in trapping the fuel before it entered the stream.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Humboldt County Environmental Health were notified and also responded to the scene. They both commended MCSD staff for their excellent response to the incident and preventing further potential environmental damage.
MCSD staff hired a local environmental contractor to assess the status of the incident. The contractor is also taking over the cleanup and will continue to monitor the site for the next seven (7) days.
Because of a previous incident in December 2012 at that location, MCSD had placed a camera on top of the building, which was also stolen by the thieves. The total loss to MCSD at this time is estimated at $6,300.00.
The photo below is of two 15-gallon containers. A total of 15 containers were found at the site. These containers were used to transport the diesel. It is possible that these 15 containers were being transported by vehicle Saturday night or early Sunday morning. If you have any information about these containers, please contact the MCSD General Manager at 839-3251 or the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.