Jose De Jesus-Avila, 45, of Miami, and Yamil De Jesus-Gonzalez, 31, of Minneapolis, Minnesota. were arrested in Charlotte County on Wednesday after authorities say that they used a tanker truck to siphon off used cooking oil from several restaurants around the Charlotte County area.
Deputies say that an employee for a company in the area that has a business that collects and recycles used oil was fed up with all of the thefts recently, so when he noticed the tanker truck moving to various businesses in the County, he got suspicious and called 911. The men were apprehended at the TGI Fridays in the Murdock area after they cut a padlock to access the used oil there. According to the Charlotte County Sheriffs Office, Beef O’Brady’s, La Esperanz Mexican Restaurant and Moe’s Southwest Grill were also targeted by the duo. The truck they were driving had an Orlando business name and phone number. WINK news attempted to contact that business but the number did not accept incoming calls. That truck was seized by the Charlotte County Sheriffs Office.
Cooking oil thefts have been a problem that has been plaguing the south Florida area for several months now. Thieves typically have elaborate pump systems and big trucks and are in and out within a matter of minutes.