13 August – A local business owner reported the theft of an estimated 1,000 pounds of used vegetable oil to Albert Lea police on Thursday, a crime he said was common across the country.
Dweezle Bordeaux, who has owned American Oil for about 15 years, buys used oil from restaurants in the community. He pays restaurants $1 a gallon to clean the oil and resell it to the biodiesel industry.
He says it consumes an estimated 1.2 million pounds of oil annually.
Bordeaux said he usually waits until one of the restaurants he works at calls to say the oil is ready to be picked up, but no one has called.
His wife, Shannon, was also driving through one of the restaurants she works with, Bleacher’s Sports Bar & Grill, when she noticed that the outdoor storage bin was empty.
So he decided to check the oil at every restaurant himself and found the storage containers at Thirsty Fox Pub & Grill, Elbow Room, Wok ‘n’ Roll and Al’s Burgers & Chicken empty as well. .
He suspected that the thief had gone to other restaurants in town he didn’t work with and had done the same there.
“Usually when they steal one, they steal the whole town. That’s what happened. They stole the whole town,” Bordeaux said.
He said the estimated 1,000 gallons stolen from his restaurant alone was worth about $5,000 in value stolen from him. I presumed that I was able to get the goods.
Bordeaux said the theft of vegetable oil is nothing new and is actually something he’s been dealing with for years.
Thieves typically use box trucks, such as U-Haul trucks, with 6 to 8 250-gallon containers and travel from town to town to fill up the truck.
The thieves then eventually team up with someone else already in business to sell and convert the biodiesel.
Crime has been reported in many other states across the country, and many have been indicted, including organized thieves and those facing federal charges of stealing millions of dollars of oil. I’m here.
Bordeaux said Albert Lee police received his theft report and told officers to be careful if they saw a box truck out at night next to these restaurants. He said thieves can visit multiple towns in one night.
He said he tries to be proactive by locking the container, and he also makes an effort to empty the container before it is more than half full.
Meanwhile, he is frustrated that it is his livelihood that has been taken from under him.
“If I can’t collect it, I can’t get paid, and obviously the restaurant can’t get paid,” he said.