FAIRFIELD, Conn. — Two men in a van filled with tanks of used cooking oil were arrested early Saturday morning when they were spotted acting suspiciously outside a Japanese restaurant in Fairfield, police said.
Alexis Ferreira-Germosen, 30, of Yonkers, N.Y., and Joslin Rafael Ramirez-Bacilio, 37, of Union City, N.J., were each charged with conspiracy to commit sixth-degree larceny and criminal attempt, police said.
An officer noticed the men in a parking lot behind Akita Japanese Steakhouse on Kings Highway East shortly before 6 a.m. He spoke with them before running the Ohio license plate on the van, police said.
When it came back with no information, the officer stopped the men and detected a distinct odor of oil coming from the van when one opened a window.
A search of the van turned up two full 55-gallon drums of cooking oil, a full 250-gallon drum and a second 250-gallon drum that was half full, police said. The officer also found bolt cutters, a gas-powered pump and latex gloves.
A check of the center console revealed several sales receipts for thousands of gallons of cooking oil sold to the New York City Oil Company, police said. One showed the company had paid $851 for 655 gallons of oil.
Theft of cooking oil is on the rise because it can be made into ‘yellow grease,’ which can be used to make biodiesel. Other Fairfield County restaurants have reported thefts from containment dumpsters outside their businesses, police said.
Ferreira-Germosen and Ramirez-Bacilio were each held on $5,000 bond and are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 21.