Cooking Oil Thefts: Duo Accused After Incidents At 9 Nassau County Restaurants

Two men have been accused of stealing cooking oil from nine different Long Island restaurants.

Chick-fil-A in Westbury; suspects Melvin Howell, left, and Rodney Lofton.

Chick-fil-A in Westbury; suspects Melvin Howell, left, and Rodney Lofton.

Photo Credit: Google Maps street view/Nassau County Police

Nassau County Police officers responded to a report of a larceny of used cooking oil in progress on Friday, April 7. 

Prior to arrival, officers observed a 2006 Isuzu white Box Truck matching the description. 

 Officers activated their emergency lights and conducted a vehicle and traffic law stop. 

Two suspects were then placed under arrest:

  • Melvin Howell, age 55, of Brooklyn;
  • Rodney Lofton, age 49, of Queens.

It was determined from an investigation by Nassau County Police detectives that the two were responsible for larcenies of used cooking oil from the following locations:

  • Leonard’s Palazzo – 5565 Northern Boulevard, Great Neck
  • Stresa Restaurant – 1524 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset
  • IHOP - 1586 Northern Boulevard, Manhasset
  • Monster Crab – 242 Voice Road, Carle Place
  • Fyhre Hibachi Sushi Lounge Restaurant – 246 Voice Road, Carle Place
  • Mint – 1 Ring Road West, Garden City
  • The Cheesecake Factory – 1504 Old Country Road, Westbury
  • Chick-fil-A – 1530 Old Country Road, Westbury
  • Benihana Restaurant – 920 Merchants Concourse, Westbury

Howell has been charged with eight counts of:

  • Petit larceny, 
  • Fourth-degree grand larceny, 
  • Third-degree criminal mischief,
  • Two counts of possession of burglar tools. 

Lofton has been charged with:

  • Eight counts of petit larceny;
  • Fourth-degree grand larceny.

They were each issued an appearance ticket returnable on Tuesday, May 2 to First District Court, 99 Main Street Hempstead.

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