Greasy Criminals Stealing Cooking Oil

Posted on: October 5, 2010

Who would have thought that there was money to be made in cooking oil? Obviously, it takes a criminal mind to figure out that cooking oil can be turned into diesel fuel and then sold illegally. In Denver, restaurants are seeing a string of thefts from used kitchen grease.

There are legitimate recycling companies that remove the cooking oil, pay the restaurants $100 a bin to collect the cooking oil and process the oil to be sold to commercial entities. However, thieves are creating makeshift pump systems, placing them on trailers, and intercepting the oil before collectors with legitimate contracts can pick them up.

Thefts of cooking oil seem to increase in the summer because the oil is more liquefied and easier to pump out. Recently, several restaurants were robbed of kitchen grease in Denver and Colorado Springs. The thieves posed as a representative from a recycling company, syphoned off the cooking oil and left without paying the restaurant.

In June of 2010, new legislation was introduced to punish grease thefts. The new law that will go into effect January 2011 designated the Colorado Department of Health and Environment as the lead regulatory agency and requires that anyone recycling used oil have proper permits. This law also gives officials more power to prosecute thieves. In New Jersey, where they have similar laws, grease criminals are facing charges for stealing cooking oil.

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