NORMAN — A University of Oklahoma freshman football player has been suspended after being arrested on a complaint of stealing gasoline.
Wide receiver Ryan Broyles, 19, is accused of having a key that fit a fuel pump at Mr. Shortstop, along with an overriding code to activate the pump, according to Norman police.
By overriding the pump's access code, gasoline can be pumped without the electronic meter detecting it, store owner Ron Henderson said. The difference between the meter and actual inventory, he said, wouldn't be known until someone manually took a tank reading.
"We've been experiencing shortages for several months and we've been trying to figure out where the problem might be,” Henderson said. "We thought maybe we're losing gas in the tanks or in the underground lines. Never once did we dream it could be theft related.”
Henderson said he is unsure how anyone could get a key because neither he nor his employees have one. The former Norman mayor also said he doesn't know whether the alleged attempt was an isolated incident.
Henderson said his tanks were tested for leaks to come up with a cause for the gasoline losses.
Mr. Shortstop sells fuel for Norman-based Rutherford Oil, which Henderson said keeps track of how much gasoline is missing and from which store. Calls to the Rutherford Oil office were not answered.
Broyles was arrested Friday and booked into the Cleveland County jail on a complaint of attempted larceny. He was released a short time later on $200 bail.
A Norman officer became suspicious about 12:10 a.m. Friday when he spotted a sport utility vehicle parked at the store's pumps. The business was closed, but the officer saw a man standing between the vehicle and a gasoline pump, police Capt.