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Police: Thieves Targeting Cooking Oil Used at Restaurants

Long Island man charged in theft from Planet Wings store.

While recyclable items such as copper pipes and heavy-duty wire and cable have long been targets of theives, police say they are hearing more about the theft of another item that is sought after for recycling — used cooking oil.

In the wake of reports of a rash of thefts of cooking oil from storage containers at local businesses, Orangetown police say they have charged a Long Island man in connection with the theft of $334 worth of cooking oil in Orangeburg.

Anthony Richards, 24 of 2302 Hampton Ave., Seaford, NY, is accused of petty larceny and fifth-degree criminal possession of stolen property and a recycling truck he was using has been impounded. Police said Richards is accused of removing 125.5 gallons of used cooking oil from behind the Planet Wings restaurant in the Orangetown Shopping Center in Orangeburg.

An investigator working for a company that recycles used cooking oil set up video surveillance behind Planet Wings, and police said the video led to the arrest. Police said the container storing the used oil was clearly marked as private property and Richards did not have permission to remove the oil.

After being charged, Richards was released pending a Feb. 6 hearing in Orangetown Town Court.

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