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Alleged cooking oil thief nabbed in Calif.

April 3, 2008 at 3:58 PM   |   Comments

MORGAN HILL, Calif., April 3 (UPI) -- An Illinois man has been charged with stealing a tank of used cooking oil from a California fast-food restaurant.

David Richardson was arrested Wednesday after the manager of a Burger King restaurant in Morgan Hill, Calif., claimed the suspect was siphoning oil from a storage tank into a tanker truck, the San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News reported. Police said the manager was suspicious because the truck was unfamiliar.

Investigators said Richardson, who works for Restaurant Oils of America in Las Vegas, probably planned to sell the oil to a refinery for $1.35 a gallon. His tanker was allegedly half full when he was stopped. A full tank would have been worth about $7,000.

"Our guess is it's a biodiesel fuel thing. It's like someone stealing copper wire," Cmdr. David Swing of the Morgan Hill Police Department told the Mercury News. "This might turn into something that starts to occur more frequently."

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