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Tip leads to stolen tanks

POSTED December 1, 2009 10:13 p.m.
Several propane tanks stolen from the Hilmar area over the last week were recovered Tuesday at the Turlock flea market by the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
The discovery of the purloined tanks was made possible through an anonymous citizen who read about the thefts in a newspaper article. The tipster called the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department and said the tanks were being sold at the flea market in Turlock.
The Stanislaus County Sheriff’s department contacted the Merced county Sheriff’s department, who went to the flea market Tuesday and found the tanks. The tanks were positively identified as the ones that had been taken from two Lander Avenue markets in Hilmar, said sheriff spokesman Deputy Tom MacKenzie.
A total of 22 tanks were stolen and 14 were recovered, MacKenzie said.
The vendor at the flea market claims the tanks were bought through a third party, which detectives are working to verify. The investigation is ongoing and no arrests have been made at this time.
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