Move Over, Tide Detergent: Cooking Grease Is The New Hot Thing To Steal

If the black market was looking especially clean with a rash of Tide detergent thefts, it’s about to get super slick now: Thieves’ fingers are getting especially sticky with a new target — cooking grease.

WBZ Boston says two men pulled up to a local restaurant in Quincy, Mass. over the weekend and siphoned the grease right out of two large containers behind the building.

“They had their own unmarked car and they hopped in their car and took off,” a Quincy Police Detective said.

That grease has a value of about $450 and 500, and could sell on the black market as it’s valuable as an ingredient in bio-diesel fuel.

“This is all new, (a) new type of crime to us. So I guess we’ll be watching out for unmarked cube vans filled with Crisco,” said the police detective.

And lest you think it’s an isolated incident — there have been other very recent cooking grease thefts recently, like this one in Orange County, Calif. and another in Mount Laurel, Pa.

A sales manager from Greenlight BioFuels, a biodiesel tells TheHook.com that before, the company could cart away restaurant’s cooking grease for free. But now that fuel prices are up, restaurants are instead selling it to them.

According to the National Biodiesel Board, one billion gallons of the stuff is now being produced every year. As they say, it’s a hot commodity. And as a result, crooks are stealing the stuff. At peak times, it sells on the street for as much a $4 a gallon.

So when thieves slip away with the grease? It’s a big problem, says Greenlight BioFuels’ sales manager. He estimates they lose 20% – 40% of their oil to thieves.

Thieves Now Stealing Cooking Grease For Easy Money [CBS Boston]
Hot oil: Grease creates a lucrative new crime [TheHook.com]