Police searching for suspects who stole diesel from Novato school bus yard

NOVATO, Calif. (KGO) -- Police are looking for two diesel bandits who are pretty sophisticated at what they do. They say a man and woman used a trump to pump thousands of dollars of fuel from the Novato Unified School District.

Novato Unified School District Director of Maintenance Operations and Transportation Mark Silva is stunned someone stole more than 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel from the bus lot.

"It's hard to believe that someone would do that, but the amazing thing is that Jose took pictures of him," Silva said.

Jose, a district custodian, snapped crucial shots around 11 p.m. Wednesday.

"And you can see in the pictures when they were surprised by our custodian that the hose was hanging out of the truck as they were driving away," Silva said.

Silva says the pump they used is professional grade and necessary to reach the large underground fueling tanks. "It's probably not the first time they've done it, to have the tank in back again, we're talking several hundred to over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel," Novato Police Department Sgt. Robert Hill said.

The thieves cut the chain and then added their own lock, perhaps so they could come back later and steal more fuel.

The custodian reported seeing a bald Hispanic man of medium build and a woman with a blonde ponytail, who was captured in one of the photos.

"You know we're looking at $3,000 or $4,000 worth of loss to the school district, so it would be a grand theft at this point," Hill said.

"We run the schools as efficiently as we can with the money we get from the state and any little hit," Silva said.

Even though the district's diesel rate is cheaper than the surrounding pumps, every penny counts for public schools.

The district plans to increase security measures.

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