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Video released of suspect in gas-and-dash death 0

Ian Robertson, QMI Agency

TORONTO -- Accused gas-and-dash killer Max Edwin Tutiven spent three minutes filling his SUV and two jerry cans before trying to slink away without paying, a surveillance video released Friday shows.

The footage police wanted aired does not record attendant Jayesh Prajapati's fatal bid to stop the thief's departure at 9:05 p.m. last Saturday.

But as Tutiven pumps fuel into his tank, he casually glances sideways, his bearded face almost in full view as he opens the driver's side rear door and removes two red plastic gas cans.

After filling and returning them to the 2000-2003, silver or beige, four-door Isuzu Rodeo, the thickset driver sought for dragging Prajapati to his death continues the vehicle fill-up.

When he replaced the nozzle, Toronto police said Tutiven had wracked up a $112.85 bill. But instead of going to the Shell station attendant's counter, he backed up the Rodeo several metres, then drove forward out of camera range.

Prajapati ran after the SUV, which sped off after dragging him -- leaving the 44-year-old married father-of-one dying on the street.

Police issued a second-degree murder warrant for Tutiven, 39, and the vehicle, which they said may have stolen plates, adding he may be hiding with friends in Montreal.

MPP Mike Colle, who knew Prajapati from visits to the station, launched a private member's bill Thursday at Queen's Park that would require cash-paying customers to give their money to attendants before a pump is remotely set at the prepaid limit.

About 30% of drivers use cash instead of credit cards.

Similar laws exist in British Columbia and some U.S. states.

Colle's bill, which he dubbed "Jayesh's Law," would penalize stations that make staff pay for stolen fuel -- a "clawback" penalty which the victim's family claims happened to him.

A Shell spokesman said the Ontario Employment Standards Act prohibits employers from deducting wages because an employer had property stolen.

Donations to a trust fund for Prajapati's wife, Vaishali, and their 11-year-old son can be made at CIBC branches, transit number 01122, account 8220433.

Anyone with information about the 5-foot-5, 230-to-240-pound suspect or the victim's death should contact homicide detectives at 416-808-7400, Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS (8477), online at www.222tips.com, text TOR and your message to CRIMES (274637), or Leave A Tip on Facebook.

ian.robertson@sunmedia.ca


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