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Tim Howard
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CHARLOTTE COUNTY DEPUTIES ARE INVESTIGATING THEFTS OF USED COOKING OIL FROM AREA RESTAURANTS.  DEPUTIES RECEIVED A CALL MONDAY FROM THE OWNER OF GRIFFIN INDUSTRIES IN FORT MYERS WHO COLLECTS USED COOKING OIL.  HE SAID ABOUT $250 BUCKS WORTH OF OIL WAS STOLEN FROM A HOLDING TANK AT THE REAR OF BEEF O’ BRADY’S ON TAMIAMI TRAIL IN PORT CHARLOTTE.  HE SAID A RED SUZUKI SIDEKICK WAS SEEN AROUND 7AM PUMPING OUT OF THE TANK.  EMPLOYEES SAW IT HAPPENING BUT THOUGHT IT WAS SOMEONE FROM GRIFFIN.  BACK ON NOVEMBER 1ST, DEPUTIES RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE MANAGER OF BURGER KING ON JONES LOOP ROAD IN PUNTA GORDA WHO SAID A FORD FLATBED TRUCK WITH FOUR LARGE GRAY STORAGE TANKS BACKED UP TO HIS WASTE COOKING OIL TANK AT THE REAR OF THE RESTAURANT.  HE CONFRONTED THE HISPANIC MAN AND ASKED WHAT HE WAS DOING; THE MAN IN HIS 20S WITH A GOATEE SAID HE WAS TAKING THE OIL.  THE MANAGER SAID HE COULDN’T DO THAT, BUT THE MAN DROVE AWAY ANYWAY.  VALUE OF THE OIL TAKEN WAS $750 DOLLARS.  DEPUTIES ARE ADVISING RESTAURANTS TO SECURE THEIR USED COOKING OIL TANKS AND KEEP A WATCH ON WHO IS PUMPING OUT THE CONTENTS.  IF ANYONE HAS INFORMATION ABOUT THESE CASES, THEY CAN CALL THE SHERIFF’S OFFICE AT 639-2101, OR CRIME STOPPERS TOLL FREE AT 800-780-TIPS.