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McDonald’s stakeout nabs cooking-grease thieves, police allege

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After at least two burglaries in which cooking grease was stolen from a McDonald’s in Hemet, the owner decided to stake out the restaurant last week after business hours.

At about 1:50 a.m. Thursday, the owner called police and said burglars were at the restaurant, stealing grease, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported. Police said that when they arrived at the scene on West Florida Avenue they found Noel Portillo, 22, of Compton and Ricardo Robles, 24, of Long Beach sitting inside a Dodge Ram pickup truck with the engine running and a large metal tank mounted on the bed.

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Police reviewed surveillance footage before arresting the pair.

Theft of cooking grease has been a growing problem. The grease, which can be refined into biodiesel fuel, typically is sold to recyclers.

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