Keep Your Eyes On The Oil

It seems that with the increase in gas prices, and the record number of biofuel users, cooking oil, mainly used for biodiesel, has become a hot commodity in some cities! According to The Seattle Times restaurants need to keep their eyes open for a new kind of theft these days – the theft of cooking oil. One pizza and pasta restaurant owner who has been hit nearly eight times since last summer by cooking oil thieves.

“Fryer grease has become gold…The last time kids broke in here, they went for the alcohol,” Damianidis said. “Obviously they’re stealing oil because it’s worth something.”

But it’s not just restaurant owners who have noticed the increase in theft. John Wick, of Standard Biodiesel, an oil collection company, estimates a staggering loss of 15,000 to 30,000 gallons of oil each month.

Valued at nearly $2.50 a gallon, police say that it’s unlikely the thefts are instigated by your every day biodiesel drivers. The suspects, they say, tend to range from environmentalists to petty thieves looking to make money on the black market.

“Who do you go after?” said Jason Christensen, a trader of fats and oils for the AgriTrading Corp. in Minnesota. “I sense you’ll start seeing more surveillance equipment put in to monitor these storage facilities at the restaurant. As the price goes up, you can afford to spend a little more to protect your interest.”

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