Gas station owner pulls gun on suspect

- A Lake County gas station manager says he pulled a gun on a man after he caught him with a skimmer at the gas pump.

The incident happened Saturday afternoon at the business off County Road 48 in Yalaha. 
Jaykumar Patel says he was working behind the counter when a truck pulled up to pump three. 
“I saw the error coming on my register,” Patel explained. 

He says he got suspicious when he saw the error because over the past couple weeks, someone has been messing with the security seals on his pumps. 

Surveillance video shows Patel walking outside. He says he spotted the guy standing with his car door open and the door to the pump open with wires coming out. 

“I figured out that he’s trying to get credit card numbers so I kick on his door. So, he tried to scare me so I went back and I pulled the gun out from my pocket and just pointed it on him,” Patel said. 

He says the suspect started backing up the truck and then peeled out but he still got a license plate number and called 911. 

Lake County deputies say a Howey in the Hills officer stopped the truck about eight miles away. They say 43-year-old Lazaro Castro was arrested for use of a scanning device to defraud. 
Patel says he’ll continue to carry a gun at work and keep an eye out for criminals. 

“I tried to make my message strong. But it now depends on them – what they want to do,” Patel said. 

Investigators say Castro was already on probation out of Orange County for similar charges. A woman was with him at the gas station in Lake County, but she is not facing charges. 
 

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