REDWOOD CITY – A Caltrans employee pleaded no contest Wednesday to embezzling gasoline by filling up his personal vehicle using a Caltrans fuel pump, according to the San Mateo County District Attorney”s Office.
Mohamed Sirker, 57, of Daly City, pleaded no contest to embezzlement on the condition of no prison time and his charge being reduced to a misdemeanor, prosecutors said.
He was sentenced to two years of probation and 32 days of county jail, but his jail sentence is already complete with credit for time served, prosecutors said.
Another Caltrans employee charged in the case, 26-year-old Joseph Torres of Menlo Park, is proceeding with a not guilty plea and scheduled for preliminary hearing on March 26.
The embezzlement came to light when a Caltrans supervisor noticed discrepancies in the fuel log last June and found suspicious entries going back to December 2013.
To catch the fuel thief, Caltrans set up a hidden camera near the agency”s fuel pump.
Prosecutors said Sirker was caught on camera fueling his personal vehicle at Caltrans fuel pumps five times and on one occasion drove a Caltrans work truck to his home without authorization. Torres allegedly was caught on camera twice fueling his personal car at Caltrans fuel pumps, on another occasion fueling a Toyota that did not belong to him, and another time helping three other people fill up their cars, prosecutors said.
The California Highway Patrol investigated the case after that, concluding that a total of $4,400 worth of gasoline had been stolen, prosecutors said.
Torres”s defense attorney, Anthony Gibbs, said today that he is still receiving evidence in the case and needs to visit the California Highway Patrol office in Sacramento for more evidence.
“We don”t know what”s going to happen,” he said.
Sirker is set to appear in court on April 27 for a restitution hearing. His attorney was not immediately available for comment this afternoon.