A man has been charged with burglary and theft for the theft of a collection jar for a young student athlete and a tip jar.
Police are also investigating to see if the suspect was involved in the theft of a second collection jar last week.
Nathan Alan Moore, 19, was arrested Sunday evening following the theft of a tip jar containing approximately $20 from the China One restaurant at 1172 Kern St., Taft Police Lt. Pete Aranda said.
Police were already investigating two thefts by a suspect described as a white male with a beard.
The first occurred Friday morning about 8:15 at Jo's Restaurant on the 500 block of Kern Street.
A suspect described as a white male with dark hair and a beard ordered breakfast at the restaurant, then stole the collection jar and fled westbound in the north alley of Kern Street, Aranda said.
Police searched the area but were unable to locate him.
Less than two hours later, a similar crime took place at Tacos yCollect Mariscos Casa Tabares at 330 Kern St.
After ordering food, then asking to use a key to the restroom, the suspect came back into the restaurant and told the clerk he had lost the key, then grabbed a collection jar and fled westbound into the alley.
He again eluded officers.
After being arrested Sunday night, Aranda said, Moore did admit to being involved in the thefts at China One and the taco restaurant, but denied involvement in the Jo's theft.
Moore is being held in the Kern County Jail central receiving facility on total bail of $20,500 for charges of burglary and petty theft and a warrant for being under the influence of a controlled substance and failure to appear.
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