NY man charged with stealing cooking oil
A New York man was charged Tuesday with stealing used fry grease from restaurants in Westport and Norwalk.
Westport police were on the lookout for a man driving a white van sought by Norwalk police for stealing fry grease from Five Guys Burgers and Fries on Westport Avenue in Norwalk at 11 a.m. Tuesday.
Westport Officer Sean Kelley later spotted a van matching that description pull out of Balducci's parking lot. After the van was stopped, police said two square, 275-gallon tanks, which appeared to be full with oil, were found in the vehicle. Also in the van was a round 55-gallon drum and an electric siphon with a hose hooked to a gas powered generator, Norwalk Sgt. Lisa Cotto said.
A Balducci's employee told police that he had seen a man matching Carnegie's description emptying oil into a white van, according to the report.
The same van and man had been seen emptying a tank behind Five Guys, Cotto said. Grease can be worth as much as $1.60 per gallon, police said following a similar investigation in Norwalk about two weeks ago. Police seized a large tanker truck in that investigation, but no arrests have been made.
Until two or three years ago, restaurateurs had to pay to get rid of used fry grease. Now they are able to sell it to a few companies in the area, who turn it into bio fuel that can be used to heat houses or operate diesel engines.
Carnegie was charged by Westport police and then turned over to Norwalk police. He was released on a written promise to appear March 1 in Norwalk Superior Court.