Thieves target used cooking grease

‘You can make $10,000 in a night’: Thieves target used cooking grease

grease bin

The heist began with a thief backing a large, white box truck up behind a Virginia mall around 3:30 a.m. one day in early April, according to a search warrant. The man wasn’t looking for cash or electronics, but something stranger: used cooking grease.

 

He siphoned about 150 gallons of the stinking, viscous liquid from a dumpster behind a Burger King, before a police officer patrolling Annandale Shopping Center busted him, according to the search warrant, filed in Fairfax County.

The crime is not new, but law enforcement officials say thieves are targeting the stuff used to make french fries and fried chicken because of a run-up in biodiesel prices in the past couple of years. Cooking grease can be turned into the fuel, creating a surprisingly lucrative black market for a substance most people wouldn’t touch.

The National Renderers Association estimates that up to $75 million worth of old cooking grease is stolen each year.

“I’ve been a detective for three years,” said Jeremy LeVan, who worked the Fairfax County case. “It’s at the top of the oddest things I’ve seen stolen so far.”

Restaurants typically contract with a rendering company to haul off cooking grease. The company pays the restaurant a fee and then recycles and sells the grease for components for such things as biofuel, animal feed or fats used in perfume.

Charles Gittins, a corporate lawyer and law enforcement liaison for Valley Proteins of Winchester, Virginia, said his company lost $5 million in grease thefts and an additional $1 million in damage to locking grease dumpsters in 2015, the last year they calculated totals. His company was also the victim in the recent Fairfax County case.

“You can make $10,000 in a night,” Gittins said of grease theft. “You buy a junker truck. You buy a 275-gallon container at a tractor supply store. You get a pump and you’re in business. You can run five nights a week.”

Alvaro Mendez Flores of Richmond, Virginia, is facing grand larceny and other charges in connection with the grease theft at the Annandale Shopping Center on April 4, police said. When police searched his truck, they found a 1,600-gallon tank, water pumps and hoses used to pump the grease, according to the search warrant.

Mendez Flores told police he owned two box trucks and was part of a group that travels around northern Virginia and Maryland stealing grease, according to the search warrant, which describes Mendez Flores’s statements to detectives. Gittins and LeVan said the Washington area is a hotbed of grease theft because the concentration of restaurants is high.

After taking the grease, Mendez Flores told detectives, he returned to Richmond and turned the truck over to his boss.

Mendez Flores’s boss took the grease somewhere to dispose of it, but Mendez Flores told detectives he did not know where. Mendez Flores was paid about 25 cents per gallon of grease, netting him between $300 and $400 per trip to northern Virginia.

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Decarboxylation, and what it does

So what is decarboxylation? What does it do?

Decarboxylation is a simple process during which cannabis is treated with heat or it is aged to activate its psychoactive and relaxing effects. This process also happens naturally when cannabis dries and ages. That’s right – despite what you may have heard, raw cannabis doesn’t actually contain any psychoactive compounds. The psychoactive ingredient THC only activates when cannabis undergoes heat treatment or when it dries and ages, though it’s important to note that the decarboxylation effect is much stronger when heated rather than when aged. Continue reading “Decarboxylation, and what it does”

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Magic Brownies. Part II

THE BEST POT-BROWNIE RECIPE.

Time to test your brownies for dosage and taste. Mine had a very slight earthy taste initially but after a slug of milk, the second bite was not. First things first and what not to do! Don’t eat it all at once and don’t expect it to kick in as it does if you smoke the weed so eat half then after you start to feel its effect eat the other half if needed. It can take between one and two hours to feel the full effect but what’s nice is the buzz lasts longer and you can sleep when you need I just got very mellow for about 4 hours after it kicked in. I will caution that this method will make you very amorous so you may want to have your brownie party with a partner.

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