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Police: Two Westchester Men Use Van To Steal Cooking Oil From Restaurants

Jose A. Martinez of Yonkers was nabbed stealing used cooking oil from two restaurants. Photo Credit: Danbury Police Department
Mario Garcia, of Yonkers, was arrested for stealing used cooking oil from two restaurants. Photo Credit: Danbury Police Department

A restaurant owner staking out his own restaurant managed to nab two Westchester men stealing used cooking oil from La Kabanita and TK's Restaurant on Tuesday, March 2, Danbury, Conn., police said.

Jose A. Martinez, 44, and Mario Garcia, 47, both of Yonkers, were charged with trespassing and larceny for stealing the used oil, said Danbury Det. Lt. Christian Carricco.

The thieves used an unmarked van, containing siphoning equipment and two large tanks/containers to steal the oil, he said.

The smart restaurateur, who had been victimized, staked out his restaurant and watched the two men stealing his used oil, he then followed the van to another restaurant and later called the police. Officers caught up to the van at Stew Leonard's a short time later, Carricco said.

Grease thieves can sell the used oil at about $1 to $2 a gallon where it is then converted into yellow grease, a commodity used to make biodiesel, animal feed, make-up, and even jet fuel. Commonly, restaurants hire legitimate companies to remove the oil, who then resell it.

The two men were arrested and the van was seized as evidence, he added.

Both were charged with two counts of larceny, two counts of criminal trespass and conspiracy to commit larceny. They are being held on $1,000 bond. 

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