SOUTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – A Worcester County man pleaded not guilty Tuesday after Southampton officers arrested him for allegedly putting a substance into a car’s gas tank.
The suspect, 37-year-old Alexander Yee of Winchendon was arraigned on charges of malicious damage to a motor vehicle and breaking and entering in the daytime with intent to commit a felony. A District Court Judge set Yee’s bail for $10,000 and agreed with Northwestern First Assistant District Attorney Steven Gagne’s proposal that if Yee does post bail, he is required to be equipped with an electronic monitoring bracelet and stay out of Hampshire County until his trial is over.
A pretrial conference has been scheduled for December 14th.
Southampton officers were called to the Big Y parking lot around 4:30 p.m. Sunday for a report of a suspicious person allegedly putting something into a gas tank of a parked vehicle. By the time officers arrived, the person had left the area. Witnesses were able to provide police with enough information to identify the suspect as Yee. On Monday around 4:45 p.m., Southampton and Winchendon officers arrested Yee at his home.
22News spoke with Joseph Ryan, owner of Ryan Imported Car Repair, about why putting anything other than gas into your vehicle is so dangerous, “It would probably cause your car to die within a mile or two. It can damage all the fuel injectors, and they’re expensive, they can be $300 each, plus labor to change them, so it can be quite costly.”
Even accidentally putting diesel fuel into your gas tank could cause serious damage. Ryan went on to say that in most newer vehicles, you can only open the gas tank from inside, so keep your car locked.