Las Vegas man charged with operating illegal gas business, after ‘Frankenstein vehicles’ found in backyard
“Frankenstein vehicles” found in the garden
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Metro police have arrested a man as part of an investigation after “Frankenstein vehicles” were found in his daughter’s backyard.
New details have been released by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department following the arrest of a man accused of running an illegal gas business and possessing stolen vehicles throughout the Las Vegas Valley.
According to an arrest report, 48-year-old Jose Hernandez is accused of modifying several different vehicles to store gasoline on his property.
Police first began investigating Hernandez after her daughter called police saying her father broke into her home and stole her dog on April 5.
Once officers arrived, they searched the home and discovered a Ford F350 in the backyard that was reported stolen in August from a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, as well as a Dodge pickup truck reported stolen from Henderson in March.
His daughter told police that Hernandez often worked on vehicles in the backyard and added that he would buy gasoline and then resell it for a profit, according to the arrest report.
As officers continued their investigation in the backyard, they say they found several vehicles in various stages of disassembly and what looked like a hash shop. They also found several trailers that had their VIN numbers removed.
Detectives said they called the modified vehicles “Frankenstein” due to several different parts being removed and then added to different frames. They say it’s a known tactic used by suspects to disguise vehicles.
Police eventually located Hernandez in Jean, Nevada, later that evening and took him into custody.
According to the arrest report, Hernandez admitted to police that he knew the Dodge was stolen and found a gun inside the vehicle.
In a police interview, Hernandez also said he used the vehicles to make “tank trucks” for his illegal fuel business.
Hernandez now faces charges including possession or operation of a vehicle chopping shop, and possession or transfer of stolen vehicles.
To note: On Thursday, LVMPD released details of three people who had been arrested for gas theft crimes in the Valley, which is separate from the Hernandez case.