ESSEX (CBS) – Police are trying to track down some slick thieves who are stealing cooking oil from several North Shore restaurants.

Essex Police Chief Peter Silva says the crooks are stealing the cooking oil from containers outside restaurants.

Fortune Palace, The Windward Grille and Lewis’s Restaurant are the latest targets, along with a restaurant in Ipswich; all of them hit this week.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Ben Parker reports

Phil Bruno, general manager at American Byproducts in Lynn, a company that normally collects the oil for recycling, says the oil in those tanks is worth a lot of money.

“Bottom line, it’s worth money and there’s a lot of people that think they’re either going to get rich or save a fortune heating their house or running their diesel vehicles on cooking oil after its processed,” said Bruno.

Bruno puts the price of the cooking oil as high as $1,000.

These cooking oil thefts mark the second string of similar thefts from some of the same establishments this year.

So far, no one has been arrested in any of the oil thefts.

Comments (48)
  1. Stu Cozza says:

    Geez… A couple of years ago, I had some to get rid of; finally donated it to a nearby biodiesel place.

  2. OldOllie says:

    The Simpsons already did this story.

    1. Groundskeeper Willie says:

      Mah retirement grease!

  3. jhesser says:

    Bruno must be rich.

  4. byproducts schmyproducts says:

    I keep my valuables locked up. Why don’t they secure their rancid old grease?

    1. Baldy Kirby from Atlanta says:

      They do!

      It’s called Congress….

  5. juandeveras says:

    Happening around the country. As counties require grease interceptors up to 2500 gallons with an eye to the biodiesel fuel in the future

  6. JD says:

    This is nothing new. I owned a grease processing business back in the 70″s when prices went way up and the were stealing it then too. You try and lock it up and they break the locks; In one case a barrel of grease was inside a storage room and they knocked a hole in the side of the building and got it.

    1. John M says:

      Yes, Nothing new at all, and remember locks only keep honest people out.. haha

      I also saw a wall broken through at a place I worked but they stole about $50k worth of computer equipment. Amazing they went that far just for cooking oil.. wow

  7. Ohm says:

    This isn’t new. They’ve been doing it for years

  8. avagreen says:

    they stealing salt, sugar and black pepper off tables…

  9. Obamaisabadperson says:

    To the Editor

    1. JD says:

      It is refined and can be used to mix with gasoline and it is also used in chicken feed as a source of energy and to bind the feed so it can be pressed into pellets. it is also used in making tires and the more refined product is even used cosmetics.

      1. The Bobster says:

        No way. You have to mix it with diesel fuel. It wouldn’t run in a gasoline engine.

      2. Baldy Kirby from Atlanta says:

        And the deaf nude guy on “Family Guy” rubs himself down with cooking oil so he can’t be caught when he streaks through the drugstore….

    2. NO PLANES says:

      Here is a CLUE, plz GET IT.
      The used veg oil is mixed w/ a hydroxide solution of ETHANOL. After several hours it will separate n2 bio diesel and glycerin. About a 4:1 ratio. IF refined, the glycerin has a market value of 70cent a lb.

  10. Jason says:

    A .22 caliber bullet is extremely cheap and the rifle extremely accurate. A shot in the leg would be a strong deterent to these criminals. Why waste tax dollars in court? After awhile we will know all the criminals by their limp. Have a nice freedom day.

    1. pitter43 says:

      That .22 bullet is even more effective when applied to the forehead. It stops future crimes.

      1. peter says:

        So now we should shoot people for petty crimes? Gee, is this the America we dreamed to live in?

      2. ritewng says:

        Yes shoot them. When this happens the whole conversation will change

  11. The Bobster says:

    Be on the lookout for a car that smells like French fries.

  12. Brian says:

    a .22 is much more dangerous than you realize Jason, perhaps you should stay away from firearms owning to the ignorance you just posted.

    The israles tried this long ago, the .22 used as a deterent ended up being leathal in many cases. They tend to bounc around alot inside a body and “follow” bones.

    Stick to your day job, imho.

    1. Jed says:

      Seems like an add-on benefit of Jason’s solution, Brian.

    2. Mannie says:

      And the downside is?

  13. Typical Gringo says:

    Once the Masshole liberal majority votes in moonbat Elizabeth Warren she will take care of this. She’ll legislate the Department of Used Cooking Oil, create a tax to ensure safe disposal and handling, thereby eliminating crime. Kerry will probably co-sponser the bill.

  14. Anon says:

    Filter used cooking oil and it works as fuel for diesel engines.

    And have you seen the price of Diesel these days?!

  15. dan says:

    HOW STRANGE. Is the press so incompetent? This used cooking oil has no value. Restaurants have to PAY to have someone take it away. Theft, no. It has to have value to be theft.

    1. JohnC says:

      Dan, I’m sorry to have to ask this, but have you been on another planet for the last couple of decades? Used cooking oil can be used to run Diesel engines (call Noonan transportation and ask them about it). Diesel fuel is running about $4 per gallon. You don’t think used cooking oil has value?

  16. JR says:

    American By-Products steal just as much cooking oil as they are losing to theft. There is no honor among thieves

    1. PHil says:

      100 per cent correct. I wonder if that company isn’t sponsoring people to steal it so long as they get the material does it matter?

  17. Phil Allison says:

    Dan yoiur absolutely correct, spot on. The restaurants are paying $75 a month to get it hauled off. The “thieves” are saving the restaurant money. That $75 are 15 hamburger patties that can be sold for the up keep of the store. In my view you have a willing victim coupled with motivated entrepreneur. Conversely, the illegals steal all the recyclables on trash day does anyone care so long as they don’t make a mess?

    1. Hagrid says:

      Guess again, the restaurants get paid for the used oil.

      1. Smith says:

        American byproducts doesn’t pay for used cooking oil according to their site, so this article is a total farce.

  18. Typical Gringo says:

    When the dopey Massachusetts liberals vote in moonbat Elizabeth Warren, she can spearhead the creation of the Department of Used Cooking Oil. She can initiate a cooking oil excise tax to pay for safe disposal, or maybe eliminate cooking oil all together, co-sponser the bill with Liveshot John Kerry, and convince the liberal sheep in Taxachusetts that it is actually a crime bill.

  19. Mannie says:

    Bruno puts the price of the cooking oil as high as $1,000.

    A thousand bucks for how much? A bottle? A semi load? Once the Press was literate. American schooling, I guess.

  20. gary says:

    Nothing to see here ..go home now

  21. bullsballs says:

    wesson oil and rubber sheets, OH BABY!

  22. Archie Bunkert says:

    Goldman Sachs took Billions, Corzine took a Billion. So, a cooking oil thief gets life and Goldman and Corzine get a fine.

  23. Brad says:

    Used cooking oil is processed into biodiesel fuel which will run diesel engines, and run oil heaters. It requires some know-how to process, using chemicals but the engine runs so much better on biodoesel than petro diesel, not only that the fuel is a solvent and cleans the entire fuel injector system and the engines purr. Plus the cyliner’s top end is much better lubricated further extending life to the diesel. I’ve been making this stuff for years. Biodiesel is also a great cleaning solvent – stoves, tools, grease, and other stubborn contaminants break down easy using this oil. It can also be used as a deck stain when pigments are added. PLUS, the bi-product of the biodiesel process is glycerin – and this is converted to soap. Been making my own soap too – better than ANYTHING you can buy at the store.

    1. Jerry says:

      Wrong. Biodiesel has lower BTU content than regular diesel. Same with ethanol. Why do you think a truck gets 18 MPG on regular fuel and 12 on ethanol? It does not run better. It also takes something like 100 gallons of water to make 1 gallon of ethanol. Our priorities are screwed up.

      1. Jim says:

        Not so Jerry, you are correct about less BTU in BioD only about 10% less. But the statement that it runs better is true. the new ultra low sulfer Diesel lacks the lubricosity the old diesel had since it has less sulfer. BioDiesel remedies this a well lubricated engine runs better, the MPG hit is minimal.

        As for ethanol it is a joke 75% of the BTU of petrol, it is a waste of tax dollars and food it works for Brazil, as they have more sugarcane than they know what to do with, but corn is a bad source of sugar, as soon as the subsidies stop ethanol will stop.

  24. MZ says:

    Next thing you know, thieves will be pilfering used burger wrappers from the McDonalds trash cans. Estimated value in the million!

    Cooking oil will, however, run a diesel engine – see

  25. Steve M. says:

    “Phil Bruno, general manager at American Byproducts in Lynn, a company that normally collects the oil for recycling, says the oil in those tanks is worth a lot of money.”

    Phil- how much money do you pay the restaurants, WHERE THE OIL WAS TAKEN? If it is left out as refuse, it’s anybody who wants it.

    FYI- a 55 gallon drum equals 550 lbs of refined glycerine. Assuming a value of 70 cents a gallon, this comes out to $385. How did you get the $1000, figure?

    Maybe you ought to get off the dime and make your collections, at the restaurants, more often?

    I don’t hear any of the restaurants filing complaints with the PD.

  26. Sean says:

    You are correct about Ethanol, but wrong about bio-diesel. Bio-diesel only has about 7% less BTU’s/Gal than petroleum based diesel. So the mileage is very similar. Bio-diesel is also derived from products that have less impact on the environment than petroleum based products (short term carbon store vs long term carbon store). You get double duty from a single production source. First you cook with it, then you burn it. You cant do that with regular diesel.

  27. firewalker22 says:

    This is why you need a company that guards against theft with custom designed waste vegetable Oil containers such as Hulsey Environmental. Just hiring any old collection agency will cost you money in the long run.

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