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Hilmar hit by propane thief

POSTED November 27, 2009 11:44 p.m.
Twice in one week two Hilmar propane stores have been robbed of their tanks, the Merced County Sheriff’s Department reported.
The first theft was reported on Nov. 20 at the Blue Rhino propane tank storage outside the Dairyland Market in the 8000 block of Lander Avenue in Hilmar. The thief cut the locks off the storage area and stole 22 tanks, said sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
On Tuesday, additional propane tanks were stolen from the storage yard at King’s Market, also in the 8000 block of Lander Avenue in Hilmar.
It is unknown whether both thefts were committed by the same suspects or if the thefts were for the scrap metal value of the tanks or the propane they contained.
“Propane is used by some rural homes to heat their homes, or run their appliances and with the recent recession and the upcoming inclement weather, someone may have decided to try and steal enough propane to try and make it through the winter,” MacKenzie said.
At this time there is no suspect information and the Merced Sheriff’s Office is asking the Hilmar community to be aware of the thefts and report any suspicious activity they may see immediately to 385-7444.
To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.
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