By Staff

OXFORD (CBS) – Police arrested two New York men early Tuesday morning after they were allegedly caught siphoning cooking oil from an Oxford restaurant.

A patrol officer saw a white cargo van with New Jersey tags leaving a restaurant on Main Street around 2:30 a.m. and pulled the driver over.

Inside the van, the officer found a portable liquid holding tank often used to transport stolen cooking oil.

A restaurant employee allowed the officer to look at security footage.

According to police, the suspects used bolt cutters to bypass a metal grate that is designed to keep oil from being siphoned. The men then allegedly used a gas-powered pump to get the oil from the tank into the cargo van, which contained two 275-gallon tanks.

The men were arrested and were scheduled to be arraigned in Dudley District Court.

Oxford Police shared a CBS News article from 2019, which explains why cooking oil has become a valuable target for thieves in recent years.

The National Renderers Association estimated as much as $75 million in grease is stolen each year, and cases are on the rise. Demand for biofuel may be the reason for the increase in similar incidents around the country. Staff