Tulsa Police: Grease Thief Arrested

Wednesday, July 29th 2009, 8:24 am
By: News On 6

By Chris Wright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Tulsa Police say even thieves are going green.  They arrested a man after they say he grabbed gallons of grease from a KFC early Wednesday morning.  Police say it is becoming a profitable crime.

The grease can be sold to companies which then convert it into bio-fuel.  Police say the growing demand for the fuel is creating more environmentally-friendly crime.

"They backed the truck up here. Put their hose in there, and sucked the grease out," said Tulsa Police Corporal Bruce Barton.

Tulsa Police say someone spotted the suspect taking grease behind the KFC at 21-st and Garnett.  He was arrested after he was sighted doing the same thing at a Food Pyramid later in the morning.  Authorities believe he is also responsible for similar thefts in Catoosa and Broken Arrow.

"It's more of a problem in the summer because stays in the liquid form, and it's easier for them to get it out because it doesn't gel up like it does in the winter," said Tulsa Police Corporal Bruce Barton.

The grease, useless in the past, can now be converted into bio-fuel.  It's touted as an environmentally-friendly alternative to gasoline.

Tulsa has its own bio-fuels company, Tulsa Bio-Fuels, which collects and converts grease.  So, when thieves make off with cooking oil, companies are losing out.   

"It's a high dollar loss. They sell this used grease, it's recycled and used in other products," said Tulsa Police Corporal Bruce Barton.

A trend that may continue as Green Country strives to become more green.

Enthusiasts say bio-diesel burns as much as 70% cleaner than normal gas.