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2 siphoned gas from parked cars, Manatee sheriff says

MANATEE -- Two men were arrested Sunday night for the siphoning of gasoline from vehicles parked at a business in the 3100 block of 53rd Avenue East, according to a Manatee County Sheriff's report.

A witness told investigators he saw a blue truck pull into the store parking lot at 9:15 p.m., and another man walk into the parking lot from nearby woods at the same time. Later, he saw the man on foot walking back into the tree line carrying two gasoline containers.

Deputies arrived in an emergency mode and pulled over the blue truck. A police dog unit tracked the man on foot to his home in the 5200 block of 32nd Street East.

Cole T. Roach, 21, and Johnithan Chapman, 29, were arrested in connection with the gasoline siphoning. In addition, a search revealed controlled substances and drug parphernalia in Chapmans left rear jean pocket, according to the sheriff's report.

At the store location, gas caps were found open on two of the vans. There was a garden hose full of gasoline lying on the ground between the vans. Eight gallons of gas were brought back to the scene and poured into the victim's vehicles.

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