Oil theft suspects can't slip away
JANESVILLE Police say two Illinois men arrested early Wednesday morning stole $370 worth of used cooking oil from a fast food restaurant.
David W. Clark, 21, of Rockford, Ill., and Enrique Jaime, 28, of Rockton, Ill., were arrested on theft charges, Janesville police Sgt. Aaron Ellis said.
The driver of a Sanimax used oil collection truck was pulling into Wendy's, 1530 Milton Ave., at 3:21 a.m. Wednesday when he scared off the thieves, Ellis said.
The truck driver followed the thieves' vehicle to Interstate 90/39 and kept updating police, who caught up with the men as they drove onto I-90/39 at Highway 14, Ellis said.
The Wednesday theft wasn't the first time oil thieves hit Janesville, Ellis said.
Police on June 22 received several complaints from Sanimax that 6,700 pounds of used cooking oil, valued at $2,500, had been taken from several restaurants in the city, he said.
"It's pretty profitable," Ellis said.
The oil is valued at 37 cents a pound, he said.
"They pump the used grease from a restaurant grease trap, owned by Sanimax, then transport it to companies that buy it and use it as biodiesel fuel," he said.
Used cooking oil taken Wednesday night was worth $370, Ellis said.
Police don't believe the men arrested Wednesday were involved in the June oil thefts based on descriptions of the earlier thieves, Ellis said.
"It looks like there's multiple groups working this scheme," he said.