NORWALK - Norwalk police say they have been seeing an increase in grease thefts in town, the most recent of which happened yesterday at Five Guys Burgers on Westport Avenue.
Investigators say 38-year-old Andrew Carnegie, of Yonkers, N.Y., pulled up to the side of the restaurant in broad daylight and used an automatic pump to steal the cooking oil.
The manager of the restaurant says this specific location has been targeted four times by grease thieves since their grand opening last July.
According to the Five Guys manager, the restaurant's oil tank gets cleaned out by a contracted company once a month. The recycled grease adds anywhere between $300 and $600 to the restaurant's bottom line.
Police attribute the uptick in grease thefts to the increase in oil prices. According to officials, people sell the stolen cooking oil to companies that turn it into bio-fuel.
According to police, business owners get roughly 15 cents per gallon for used grease, which in turn is sold at a rate of approximately $1.60 per gallon to bio-diesel companies.
Carnegie was released on $5,000 bond and is expected back in court next month.
Police: NY man charged in cooking oil theftsCooking oil stolen from Norwalk restaurant