A former Lincoln County employee is accused of stealing 9,000 gallons of gasoline worth $18,000 since January.
Joseph Matthew Gibson, 24, of Dallas, N.C., was charged with embezzlement, financial card transaction fraud and taking a financial transaction card. Gibson was jailed on $10,000 bail.
Gibson is accused of using a Lincoln County government-issued WEX fuel card to buy the gasoline for personal use.
According to the sheriff’s office, 31 fuel purchases were made in Cherryville in January and February, 11 purchases in Lincolnton in early February and 74 purchases in Gastonia between Feb. 10 and Sunday.
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Surveillance video from several locations identified Gibson as the person buying the fuel, investigators said. The suspect usually drove a pickup truck with a fuel tank on the back, investigators said.
Gibson was terminated as a Lincoln County Public Works employee on Jan. 13, the sheriff’s office said.
Gibson told investigators he used some of the gasoline and gave some of it away, sheriff’s spokesman Larry Seagle said. None of the gasoline has been recovered, he said.