Ottawa

2 charged in cooking oil theft

Ontario Provincial Police are warning business owners after charging two men with stealing cooking oil in Embrun, Ont.

Men caught stealing used cooking oil from Embrun, Ont., business early Monday morning, OPP say

OPP in Russell County are warning local businesses to be vigilant after two men were charged with stealing cooking oil. (Denis Babin/Radio-Canada)

Ontario Provincial Police are warning business owners after charging two men with stealing cooking oil in Embrun, Ont.

Officers in Russell County responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle around 1 a.m. Monday, according to an OPP news release. 

OPP said two men from Quebec, 38 and 46, were caught stealing used cooking oil from a business on Notre-Dame Street in Embrun, about 45 kilometres southeast of downtown Ottawa.

Upon further investigation, police also laid charges stemming from a similar theft of cooking oil last week in Casselman, Ont, about 14 kilometres west of Embrun.

Both men are charged with two counts each of theft under $5,000 and trespassing at night. In addition, the two were charged with possession of property obtained by crime in relation to most recent alleged theft.

OPP Const. Melissa Bouchard said cooking oil theft is a unique crime in her experience.

"Honestly, it's not common," she said. "Cooking oil, for us, it's really new."

Police are encouraging businesses and restaurants with cooking oil disposal bins to be vigilant in light of the arrests. Cooking oil is commonly reused in cosmetic products, pet food and as biodiesel fuel.