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

Constitutional carry class on target

June 22, 2016 at 6:00 am | Priest River Times PRIEST RIVER — A packed house welcomed Priest River police chief Drew McLain June 16 to hear him explain the ins and outs of Idaho’s newly revised concealed carry permit law, Senate Bill...

Read More

School district adopts budget

June 22, 2016 at 6:00 am | Priest River Times PRIEST RIVER — The West Bonner County School District’s board of trustees voted June 15 to adopt a budget for the 2016-17 school year. Board members had to contend with a reduction in the...

Read More

Library board votes to seek levy

June 22, 2016 at 6:00 am | Priest River Times PRIEST RIVER — The West Bonner County Library District has raised $940 so far this year from used book sales in the Priest River branch’s “Books Out Back” bookstore and from its used book...

Read More

Increased bail sought in Gervasi case

June 22, 2016 at 6:00 am | Bonner County Daily Bee SANDPOINT — An increased bail is being sought for a Bonner County man who allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint, burned down a home in Edgemere and opened fire on a Bonner County sheriff’s...

Read More