A 20-year-old man is accused of siphoning cooking oil from storage tanks at two Luzerne County restaurants into tanks hidden inside his van.
Caraballo Matos was taken into custody at his home near Allentown and will soon be brought to Luzerne County to face felony charges, WBRE/WYOU is reporting.
But why cooking oil? That’s still a bit of a mystery that police are trying to solve.
According to reports, the theft of cooking oil is becoming more common. Restaurant owners recycle it to get paid by companies that refine it into fuel, but it’s unclear why it has been the subject of some recent thefts.
“It goes a lot deeper than just a theft of cooking oil,” West Pittston police Chief Michael Turner told WBRE/WYOU.
Matos is accused of siphoning cooking oil from the American Grill in Exeter and the B3Q Smokehouse in West Pittston Wednesday into tanks in his van, reports indicate.
Police say surveillance video showed him doing so at the West Pittston restaurant, then ramming his van into the owner’s vehicle, reports indicate.
Investigators have not yet found the van, the stolen cooking oil or his suspected accomplice, reports indicate.
According to reports, Matos is facing charges of burglary, criminal trespass, theft, receiving stolen property, simple assault, reckless endangering, criminal mischief and traffic violations.