Trucker Dines While Four Men Attempt Heist Of $500K Load Of Tequila
Hillsborough County, Florida – Four men were taken into police custody after attempting to steal $500,000 of tequila from a trucker at a Tampa-area truck stop Sunday night.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, the four suspects, Vidal Estrada, 66; Lemuel Escobar, 35; Humberto Ramirez, 37; and Alberto Obaya, 46, attempted the heist at approximately 11 p.m. Sunday as the truck driver, who was hauling the load of Patron tequila from Miami to Tampa, was stopped for dinner at a truck stop along US-301.
Officials said the trucker noticed his trailer was detached from his tractor and missing after exiting the stop at the completion of his meal. Deputies then located the trailer about 11 miles from the truck stop at approximately 12:30 a.m.
Police said the four men were in the process of transferring the cases of tequila into a box truck that was registered to them. That’s when the deputies moved in to arrest the men.
Vidal, Ramirez and Obaya were arrested without issue at the scene. Escobar attempted to flee the scene but was located and arrested nearby. Each of the men have been charged with grand theft, resisting arrest and burglary of an unoccupied conveyance. Obaya also faces an additional charge of possession of a controlled substance.
However, Danny Alvarez, a spokesman for Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, told Tampa’s Fox 13 authorities were fortunate to find the men so quickly. “That truck could have easily gotten on the highway and headed north, south, east, or west and would have been out of our county in no amount of time,” he said.
Police say there were approximately 966 cases of the tequila having an estimated retail value of $507,105. No word has been released on the men’s immigration status. The investigation is ongoing.
More on this story courtesy of Fox13/YouTube.
Images courtesy of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.