Published: Jul 28, 2011 5:35 PM EDT
Updated: Jul 28, 2011 4:36 PM EDT

CAPE CORAL, Fla.- A discovery in one of Cape Coral's fleet vehicle may begin to explain where the city's missing fuel actually went.

An electronic device used to monitor fuel usage in the vehicles was found to be tamered with. Councilman Bill Deile went as far as to call the discovery a smoking gun. Over the last five years city officials say 12 million dollars worth of fuel is simply missing. Now they think they have some idea as to how some of it at least disappeared.

The electronic device was stumbeled upon by a city worker as he looked in the trunk of a city vehicle. The normal function of the device is to monitor the amount of fuel dipensed at city fueling stations a fuel black box, so to speak. This modified box, officials believe, could be used a bypass for the main unit, allowing fuel to flow and not be recorded.

This is a developing story. Thursday WINK News is going to be digging for answers to questions like, who's car was this device found in? Is that person being investigated and why have the police not been called?

Thursday the company that  tracks fuel for the city of Cape Coral will be in town to find out how one of the fuel trackers was tampered with. A city employee discovered a fuel device inside a city car late Wednesday afternoon, that had been tampered with.

A key feature had been replaced with a toggle switch and rivets replaced with screws, allowing someone to get away with thousands of dollars in fuel without ever being recorded.

It's too early to tell who might be behind the theft. The device was found in a pool car that multiple employees use. Yet it could be a missing piece in the puzzle of where thousands of dollars in missing fuel went between 2006 and 2010.