LEEDS — Three New York City men were arrested Sunday morning on burglary charges in connection with stealing used cooking oil at a restaurant in Leeds.
The three were charged at Barnwood Restaurant, at 14 Deer Lane.
Barnwood posted Sunday on social media that police arrested several individuals in connection with stealing used cooking oil from the restaurant.
Bronx residents Leuri A. Deleon-Blanco, 21, Harold Barcena, 26, and Manuel W. Ramireznunez, 26 were all charged with possession of burglar tools and petit larceny, both class A misdemeanors.
Ramireznunez was additionally charged with resisting arrest and obstruction of governmental administration, both class A misdemeanors, police said.
All three men were issued appearance tickets for town of Catskill Court and their truck was towed from the scene.
Sunday was not the first used cooking oil theft from Barnwood Restaurant, which posted on social media July 16, that two men were arrested in connection with a similar incident.
The list of businesses that have been hit by used cooking oil thieves in Greene and Columbia counties continues to grow.
Tori G’s Pizza on Route 23 in Catskill and Morabito’s Sub Shop & Deli on Healy Boulevard in Hudson have reported break-ins recently, according to Buffalo Biodiesel, a company that restaurants contract with to recycle used cooking oil.
The incident at Tori G’s occurred Aug. 18, where the seal and lockbar were removed from the tank that holds the used cooking oil. When it was discovered, about 60% of the oil was left in the tank, which holds 200 gallons, according to Buffalo Biodiesel.
At Morabito’s, the incident was reported Sept. 7, when the store said the seal and lockbar were removed from their tank.
Police continue to investigate other incidents throughout the area where cooking oil was reported stolen or where seals were reported to be broken on the tanks used to store the liquid.
Used cooking oil theft is on the rise as is the cost of diesel fuel has risen and remains above $5 per gallon.
The used cooking oil is typically sold on the black market because it can be converted to biodiesel fuel, a diesel fuel alternative to petroleum diesel that can be used for transportation and heating, officials said.
The oil is also known as yellow grease that can be used in soaps and shampoos, pet food, detergents and other items.
The financial loss from stolen oil varies from restaurant to restaurant.
The larger financial loss is to cooking oil retrieval and recycling companies, such as Buffalo Biodiesel.
Several cases in Columbia and Greene counties have also been investigated over the past year. Many more theft cases were reported at businesses throughout the Capital Region.
Authorities have released a list of steps that businesses can take to prevent theft.
■ Secure the oil by moving it indoors, or in an outside locking shed.
■ Install cameras and fencing around the storage tank.
■ Install lighting that illuminate the area.
■ Monitor the grease levels in the bin.
■ Install an alarm that activates if the oil level drops unexpectedly.
■ Know what your contracted service provider looks like, truck, uniform and logo.
■ Inform neighboring businesses that you have had a theft.