MIAMI - The man accused of exploding a minivan while siphoning gas in a west Miami neighborhood Friday is no stranger to the crime, according to police.
Police said Onelio Castro, 46, was in the process of siphoning fuel from the underground tanks at a Marathon gas station into giant containers in his minivan when something went terribly wrong.
The explosion blew the lid off a recurring problem in South Florida -- gas theft.
Police said the crooks fit their vehicle with holding tanks, cut holes in the floor boards and drive on top of the underground tank cover. Then they use battery-powered pumps to steal the fuel -- never even having to leave their cars.
It's a dangerous way to make a living, but one from which Castro can't seem to retire.
Court records show he served four months in the Miami-Dade County Jail in 2010 after being caught driving one of those makeshift fuel tankers.
In 2012, authorities believe he crashed another van loaded with fuel and ran away. Cops found his cell phone in the car, but the case was eventually dropped.
Records also show he served 90 days in jail in 2013, after he was caught driving another makeshift fuel tanker. In fact he was still on probation when police say he was at it again last week.
Castro managed to escape serious injury Friday. And now the question is, will the blast convince him to find a less explosive way to make a living?
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