Chrisman said oil field thieves often have experience in the industry so they know what to steal.
He said Bass' time with a service company made him familiar with Devon's operations.
Bass also has his own tanker truck, so he could take oil away from well sites, authorities said.
Devon has lost more than 500 barrels of oil to thieves since this summer, Chrisman said. The stolen oil was worth close to $100,000.
“Oil field theft is rampant right now,” said Tom Jordan, manager of corporate security at Oklahoma City-based Chaparral Energy. He said more thieves are taking crude oil.
“A lot of it is our fault,” Jordan said. “We made it readily available to them. It's right out there for them.”
Most tanks are not monitored and sit close to roadways.
“If you have a tank truck, you have a license to steal,” Jordan said.
Energy company officials work together to combat theft.
“There's nothing proprietary about oil field security,” he said. “Devon's thieves are our thieves. We share information.”