Sanitation Worker Stole 240 Gallons of Gas from Work, Prosecutors Say
TOTTENVILLE — A Sanitation worker was arrested for stealing 240 gallons of gasoline from the Staten Island garage where he worked and leaving the containers in his backyard, prosecutors said.
John DiBerardino, 46, a plumber for the Department of Sanitation, bought 44 five-gallon containers of gasoline and brought them to his job at the Sanitation Garage at 2500 Richmond Ave., where he filled them up, piled them into his vehicle and drove them to his Dell Court home, prosecutors said.
DiBerardino then kept the plastic jugs unsealed in his front and side yards.
"I was stocking them at my residence for emergency purposes," DiBerardino told police. "I removed the gasoline in five-gallon gas containers, which I owned. I then took the gas in my assigned Sanitation vehicle and drove it directly to my residence."
DiBerardino stocked up on gas from the garage between October and until he was caught on April 15 when a neighbor called the Fire Department to report a gas smell, the city's Department of Investigation said.
After DOI was notified, the gas was removed from the home and DiBerardino surrendered on Wednesday, the DOI said.
“This City worker undermined the public trust and potentially endangered his neighbors and himself, according to the charged conduct," DOI Commissioner Mark Peters said in a statement. "As this investigation shows, public corruption can undercut public safety."
DiBerardino was charged with petit larceny, reckless endangerment, criminal possession of stolen property, criminal nuisance and official misconduct at his arraignment on Wednesday, the District Attorney's office said. He was released on his own recognizance and faces up to a year in jail if convicted.
DiBerardino, who had worked for the Sanitation Department since 2001, was suspended because of the arrest, the DOI said.
DiBerardino did not immediately respond to requests for comment.