COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - Some thieves will do anything to make a buck. How about stealing used cooking oil? Two Naples men are in jail for "grease grand theft."
"Kind of strange about the whole situation. I can't understand what they'd steal used grease for," Tom Frisina, a customer a Pincher's Crab Shack, questions.
Customers at the restaurant may be surprised to hear about people stealing used oil, but the manager isn't.
"It's a hot commodity," Jason Flemings tells WINK News.
Fleming knows the value of used oil because they use it at Pincher's to make biodiesel for their own trucks. For them, converting grease into gas saves about $20,000 a year. That's exactly why used oil has become popular with crooks.
"I don't know if they're fueling their own trucks or not, but they're probably most likely doing it as a source of income," Fleming speculates.
According to deputies, the company that picks up used oil caught Christhian Peraltacano and Hugo Neira helping themselves to oil at a Wendy's and Long John Silver's in Naples. They siphoned 250 gallons total.
So what were they planning to do with the grease? Fleming says they could have used it themselves, "you can find it on You Tube how to build one of these (converters) so anyone could pretty much use it."
But more than likely they were planning to sell it.
One Fort Myers company estimates they loose $10,000 a week in used grease from Fort Myers restaurants alone.