Daytona Beach Shores, FL – A 46-year-old Pennsylvania sex offender is held without bond at Volusia County Jail after authorities say he punched a hole into the gasoline tank of a truck with a drill so he could use the gas inside for his own truck.
Investigators are now trying to tie Joseph C. Bangs to other similar incidents reported in the East Volusia area since April after he confessed to one such incident during a police interview Wednesday (August 29th), according to his arrest report from the Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.
Per the arrest report, Bangs is a transient and has no permanent address, but his vehicle – a Ford F-150 with Pennsylvania tags – was spotted by several license plate readers in Deltona, Daytona Beach and South Daytona since August 1st.
Bangs was initially taken into custody by Shores police on the evening of August 18th on charges of driving under the influence and failure to register as a sex offender.
The report shows an officer found Bangs “intoxicated” and asleep in a truck parked in the off-beach lot on Botefuhr Avenue and State Road A1A, a vehicle which Daytona Beach police said matched the description of one involved in a recent hit-and-run accident.
Earlier that day, a 56-year-old Georgia woman reported to police that her Ford F-150 – which had been parked at the same lot where Bangs and his truck were found – wouldn’t start because it had no gas, likely because of a hole drilled in the tank where the gas had drained out.
Officers who processed Bangs’ truck after his DUI/failure to register arrest found a yellow drill wrapped in a white cloth under the driver’s seat which “substantially smelled of gasoline”, per the report. Also found in the truck bed were drill bits and “several” red gas containers, which police seized after getting a search warrant signed by a judge on August 22nd.
When interviewed by Shores police on the 29th at VCJ, Bangs admitted that he had been living in his truck and had an alcohol problem, per the report. It also noted that he denied using a drill to take gas from the Georgia woman’s truck at first, but eventually broke down crying after admitting to it once detectives told him about finding the drill in his truck.
When asked why he stole the gas, Bangs claimed it was because he was in a “bad spot” and that there wasn’t enough gas in his truck to start it. He also said it was easier to drain the tank with the drill and collect it with a container below the hole instead of siphoning the gas out.
Bangs is held on a felony burglary of a conveyance charge and two misdemeanors: petit theft and criminal mischief causing property damage.