It’s not unusual in today’s economic times to become desperate enough to go down the wrong path. Typically, when someone makes an attempt to “rip-off” their employer, they truly believe they will not get caught. They will think they have thought out every scenario before implementing their plan, just like bank robbers and the like. Well, it doesn’t usually work for very long, as this situation proves.
Southeast Los Angeles Detectives in April of 2012 were informed that gasoline from the city fueling facilities was being stolen, and it was believed that it might be an employee of the LA City Department of Recreation and Parks (LADRP). To get a better handle on the situation, surveillance was set up on fuel stations located at Southeast and 77th Street Area Community Police Stations and a Department of Transportation fueling site. Surveillance went on for many hours over a three month period when they discovered two suspects they were able to identify as an actual employee of the LADRP and an accomplice.
As it turned out, on the 21st of May, 2012, Southeast LA Detectives arrested Michael Anthony Lee, a 12-year employee of the LADRP, assigned to Algin Sutton Recreation Center, and an accomplice, Shane Anthony Gansterer, 47, a Los Angeles resident. Lee was charged with Embezzlement, and was said to be on duty at the time the incidents occurred, and is responsible for stealing approximately 800 gallons of gasoline within the three months. He is being held on $50,000 bail. Lee’s accomplice, Gansterer, was charged with Receiving Stolen Property and is being held in lieu of $20,000 bail.
It’s difficult to understand the motivation of some people when they plan to do criminal acts that seem like nothing really serious to them. Employers, especially in the past decade, tend to pay very close attention to the actions of their employees through email and other methods you may not be aware of. Michael Lee was probably a good employee until he decided to tempt fate.