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Police arrest two Pasadena men in diesel fuel thefts

Two Pasadena men were arrested for a string of diesel fuel thefts in Anne Arundel County, police said Friday.

Robert Douglas Murphy, 49, and Daniel Guy Padgett, 34, were arrested Aug. 31, following an anonymous tip that led to a two-month investigation, including police surveillance over multiple days.

Murphy was charged with theft, destruction of property, trespassing and related charges, authorities said. Police also recovered 19 guns from his home, including an Intratec "Tec 9" assault pistol loaded with 21 rounds of 9mm ammunition. Murphy lost the right to possess firearms after a previous conviction.

Padgett was charged with theft, destruction of property and trespassing.

The men lived at the same address in the 1600 block of Colony Road.

Detectives observed Murphy shortly before 5 a.m. on Aug. 22 stealing diesel fuel from a cell tower back-up generator in the 8200 block of Veterans Highway in Millersville. Murphy pulled his truck, a Ford F250, to the side of a fence, cut a hole in the fence and took about 160 gallons of fuel. He put the fuel in a large plastic container located in the bed of his truck.

Around 8 p.m. on Aug. 31, police said they saw Murphy using his pickup to haul a trailer with several empty containers. He parked the truck at a cell phone company in the 600 block of Ritchie Highway in Severna Park, left the trailer and parked on the shoulder of the highway near the business entrance. Officers then saw Murphy walking back and forth several times.

He left the truck at the business for about an hour and a half before eventually leaving with the trailer attached. The police observed five 55-gallon drums and one large plaster container, which they later learned were filled with diesel fuel.

Police stopped the truck on Route 648 near Asbury Drive and took Murphy and Padgett into custody.

The firearms were recovered after police executed search warrants.

The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information — including individuals and businesses that bought fuel from Murphy or Padgett — should contact Western District Detective Jonathan Hardesty at 410-222-6155.

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