P.R. man jailed for gasoline thefts

   SANDPOINT — A preliminary hearing is pending in the case of a western Bonner County man accused of stealing more than $6,000 worth of gasoline using a prepaid debit card authorization scam.

   Tony Allen Lambert is charged with grand theft. A hearing to determine if there’s enough evidence to justify trying Lambert on the felony charge is set for Wednesday.

   Lambert, 38, is being held at the Bonner County Jail in lieu of $20,000 bail.

   Lambert committed the thefts at Priest River Family Oil from May 1 to Aug. 23, according to the criminal complaint.

   Lambert allegedly used the prepaid cards to purchase more gas than the face value of the card by capitalizing on the filling station’s authorization hold process. The authorization hold process is being changed as a result of the heists, court documents indicate.

   During a hearing to secure the charge against Lambert, Bonner County Deputy Prosecutor Larry Goins said Lambert used the scam to steal 100-120 gallons of fuel at a time. Surveillance footage from the station allegedly showed Lambert filling drums with gas.

   Goins told Judge Barbara Buchanan during the Aug. 24 probable cause hearing that Lambert sold the fuel to people he knew and also brought people to the station to fill up their vehicles, court records show.

   A search of Lambert’s home southwest of Priest River led to the discovery of discarded Visa debit cards, six empty 55-gallon drums and a siphoning apparatus, a Priest River Police report said.

   Chief Deputy Public Defender Janet Whitney moved for Lambert’s bail to be lowered because it was unconstitutionally high and argued that Lambert has ties to the community and is not a flight risk. Goins countered that Lambert is a flight risk and said Lambert has an active arrest warrant in Virginia and as many as 10 felony convictions in that state.

Read More Local News

Animal rescue auction a huge success

May 18, 2016 at 5:00 am | Priest River Times PRIEST RIVER — The annual Priest River Animal Rescue dinner/auction was a rousing success netting over $10,000 from the silent and live auction items. Totals have not come in from the bar,...

Read More

Singspiration coming to Newport

May 18, 2016 at 5:00 am | Priest River Times NEWPORT — Newport Southern Baptist Church is hosting a 5th Sunday Singspiration, Sunday, May 29.It starts at 6:30 p.m. Everyone is invited. Refreshments following. The church is located 1...

Read More

Chris Naccarato’s passion for space is boundless

May 18, 2016 at 5:00 am | Priest River Times PRIEST RIVER — In the days of black and white television, when Walter Cronkite breathlessly brought the first images of man walking on the moon to millions of homes across America, a young...

Read More

Border crossings are keeping police busy

May 17, 2016 at 5:00 am | Priest River Times PRIEST RIVER — Washington may have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational purposes, but Idaho has not, said Priest River Police Chief Drew McLain. Unfortunately, some Washingtonians...

Read More