Grease Theft

Grease theft soars with rising oil prices

Over the last decade, used cooking oil has turned into a valuable commodity. It’s become so valuable, in fact, that it’s being illegally siphoned out of containers behind restaurants nationwide at an alarming rate. Reports of grease thefts have more than doubled since 2005. What are the grease rustlers after? Easy money. Fryer oil now commands about 40 cents per pound, nearly four times what it sold for just 10 years ago. Those are tempting rewards for someone with a pick-up truck, a need for quick cash, and a minimal chance of getting caught.

Economic losses due to grease theft have hit both restaurant operators and renderers hard. The annual volume of stolen grease is about 190 million pounds, or about 7.9% of the volume currently collected. That figures out to 78,500 metric tons. At an average annual price of $500 a metric ton, it adds up to over $39 million in lost revenue. And that doesn’t even take into account the additional millions lost due to restaurant equipment damaged during a grease theft.

Anti-Theft Lockers

Mahoney helps restaurants fight back

The most effective way for restaurant operators to safeguard their valuable used cooking oil is by taking proactive measures. Mahoney Environmental® can help. We’re at the forefront of grease theft prevention with state-of-the-art monitoring and locking systems.

Monitoring sensors. Every tank in Mahoney’s nationwide fleet can be equipped with a monitoring system that includes yellow grease sensors. These sensors can send text or email alerts to the restaurant owners when the following occurs:

  • Proper filtering procedures aren’t being followed
  • Fryers are being emptied more often than necessary
  • Their waste tank is emptied unexpectedly by grease thieves

Anti-theft Lockers. Mahoney’s collection tanks can also be set up with an Anti-Theft Used Cooking Oil Locker. This locker is mounted around the oil evacuation port, requiring the person removing the oil to have the key to unlock the tumbler.

As one of the nation’s premier recyclers of used cooking oil, Mahoney is committed to ensuring that you—not a grease bandit– capture all the value from food by-products. Theft is theft, whether it’s stealing from the cash register or the grease container. We’re doing whatever it takes to deter grease theft before it happens.

Type of truck used in grease theft crimes

If you’re robbed, we’ll help nab the thieves.

Mahoney has made catching grease thieves our top priority. That means going beyond offering you preventive measures to hunting down the perpetrators, as well. After all, the longer they’re out there running free, the more restaurants will find their grease siphoned off and their bottom line negatively impacted.

We’ve created a Grease Theft Special Investigation Unit (SIU) whose sole purpose is to track down every unlicensed hauler of stolen grease and help bring them to justice. We follow up with restaurants who believe they’ve been victimized by grease theft. Working with local law enforcement officials, the Mahoney Special Investigation Unit uses surveillance techniques and exhaustive detective work to crack down on these back-alley grease snatchers.

Here’s where to report a theft.

Was your restaurant or facility a victim of grease theft? We want to know about it. Use the contact form below to get in touch with our Special Investigation Unit. Or call: 1-800-892-9392

Grease Theft Contact Form


Help us bring grease thieves to justice!

Catch A Used Cooking Oil Thief Customer Rewards Program –

Up to $1,000 Reward!

$500.00 for the arrest and conviction on a misdemeanor criminal charge

  • $250.00 for arrest + $250.00 for conviction

$1,000.00 for the arrest and conviction on felony charges

  • $500.00 for arrest + $500.00 for conviction

Have your employees be on the lookout!

  • Show them the truck pictured at left- they’re the types used in grease theft crimes
  • Have them call the police immediately to report a possible theft
  • Write down the license plate number, name off the driver’s door, color of vehicle, direction of travel, and any other useful information to ID the vehicle

Keep your grease containers under surveillance with outside security cameras!

Rewards Program Terms:

All Mahoney customers are eligible. Rewards are awarded per case and per vehicle involved, not on a per-person basis within any one given vehicle.

Here’s who to contact:

Specialized Investigation Division of Mahoney Environmental