Restaurant grease pit thefts investigated
Published Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:08PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 4, 2012 7:11PM EST
Two men have been arrested after a number of restaurants in the area have had the grease pits in the back of their businesses emptied.
Those seemingly dirty leftovers can be recycled and used as bio-diesel fuel, to make soap or even re-used as oil.
Police say the value of used cooking oil is about 80 cents a litre and the increasing value is also increasing thefts.
Trent Olney from Smokin' Tony's barbeque says, “Our used oil from our fryers and cooking process, at the end of the night we dump our used oil that we cant use any longer in our container at the end of the night.”
One man's trash can be another man's treasure. Early Tuesday morning, police arrested two men who were allegedly stealing used grease from a grease bin.
Spokesperson for the Waterloo Regional Police, Alana Haltom says,
“An oil pump truck was pumping grease from a local restaurant that was closed at about 220 am”
It appears other restaurants in Cambridge have been targeted as well. Police say there has been an increase in 'grease thefts'
“The value of cooking oil is actually going up, especially in recent years, and with that being said it makes it more of a target for crime” says Holtom.
Used cooking oil is most commonly repurposed for bio-diesel fuel. Recycling companies pay restaurants to collect their spent grease. Olney says he gets about $100 a bin.
“It actually helps offset some of our other operating expenses so it is valuable to us” says Olney.
It’s led some restaurants to put locks on their tanks.
“I didn't think we'd be locking up used grease”
Olney hasn't secured his bin yet, he says he'll be checking more often to see if his grease has gone missing.
The two men arrested last night are from the greater Toronto area. Police say they have been charged with theft and possession of stolen property.