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Cops: Smithtown Man Stole Fill-Ups From 16 Suffolk County Gas Stations

Walter Amerbach (credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

Walter Amerbach (credit: Suffolk County Police Department)

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CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – A Smithtown man has been arrested after police said he filled up at 16 gas stations and then drove away without paying.

Walter Amerbach, 21, has been charged with 11 counts of petit larceny, Suffolk County police said.

During the past four months, police said Amerbach pulled up to gas station pumps throughout Suffolk County, asked the attendant to fill the tank and then took off without paying.

“They think, ‘oh, gas. They’re charging $4, they’re making so much money.’ But just like anything, there’s insurance here, got to pay employees. People stealing, it’s pretty serious stuff,” Wave gas station employee Paul Greek told WCBS 880′s Sophia Hall. “It’s pretty gutsy. He’s a young kid, early 20s.”

Greek said an alert employee at his gas station helped police catch the alleged thief.

“[He] was smart enough to get most of the license plate and the cops were able to get the plate and arrest the kid,” Greek told Hall.

Sign warning against stealing gas at a Wave gas station in St. James, Long Island (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Sign warning against stealing gas at a Wave gas station in St. James, Long Island (credit: Sophia Hall/WCBS 880)

Police found his Jeep Grand Cherokee outside a gym in Bay Shore and he was arrested, police said.

Amerbach is set to be arraigned on Wednesday.