SOULARD, Mo. (KMOV) – As gas prices continue to rise, thieves have found a crime of opportunity – stealing cooking grease from restaurants.
Two 21-year-old men, Landon Thomas and Byron Aston, were caught and charged after they hit two St. Louis restaurants for its grease over the weekend. It is part of a national trend where thieves steal cooking grease and then convert it into biodiesel fuel to make money.
The incident happened at Tucker’s Place in Soulard early Saturday morning just after closing time. The restaurant’s general manager, Todd Westcott, says the cooking grease is taken out to the back of the restaurant a couple times a week to a grease trap.
The thieves pulled up to the grease trap in a truck where they siphoned a few hundred gallons of grease with a hose. Police state the same thing happened nearby at McGurk’s Irish Pub and Garden.
Westcott was told some of the thieves come from as far as Springfield, Missouri and he will now consider adding a lock to the restaurant’s grease trap.