By CBSBoston.com 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.

CBSBoston.com Staff