The watchful eyes of locals in the Hunting Creek business area on Ga. Highway 20 led to the arrest of three men from North Carolina suspected of attempting to steal oil from restaurants last week.
The Conyers Police Department received a call around 8 a.m. Friday, Dec. 28 regarding suspicious activity involving a U-Haul truck behind Sonny's BBQ.
The caller, the manager of a nearby business, reported the truck being parked near the bin used to hold recycled oil behind the restaurant. After responding, officers located the suspects and the truck in the Hunting Creek Shopping Plaza near Frontera Mexican Restaurant.
When asked why he had stopped at the rear of Sonny's BBQ, the driver allegedly said the three men worked for Hulsey, an oil removal company that does not collect oil from that restaurant chain. He reportedly said the men had stopped behind the restaurant because they had trouble with the truck. The driver provided a business card of a Hulsey employee, and a call to Hulsey headquarters determined that the men did not work for that company and that the company uses tanker trucks, not U-Hauls, to haul oil for recycling.
Officers allegedly found six bins containing used cooking oil, bolt cutters, a pry bar, a propane tank, a hacksaw and two adjustable wrenches in the rear of the U-Haul in addition to a bag of suspected marijuana in the cab compartment.
The three men - Nicholas Hall, 30, Reginald Flemings, 43, and Michael Leroy Daniels, 30, all of North Carolina - were arrested and charged with criminal attempt, possession of burglary tools, false statements and possession of marijuana less than one ounce.
According CPD Sgt. Guy Sanders, used cooking oil is sold to recyclers who use it for products such as biodiesel.