A grease removal company complained that someone removed the used cooking oil from a grease trap behind a restaurant in the 2000 block of West 63rd Street.
The grease theft was discovered at 8 a.m. May 14. The company employee told police that thieves have been swiping grease from the container over several months. The last time he emptied the grease from that location was April 24.
Grease thefts have become more common because rendering companies use the grease to make fuel, reports said.
The going rate for a container of grease is about $600, depending on the size of the container, the employee told police. Larger companies often render their own grease.
Thieves generally use a box-type truck and put tanks in the rear without any markings, or a fake company logo on the truck. The employee believes the grease was taken out of state to sell to other rendering facilities.
The approximate value of the Downers Grove grease is $600.
The New York Times reports there is a growing black market for yellow cooking grease, due to the fact that it can be turned into biodiesel fuel, among other uses. Fryer grease hauled by unlicensed haulers has caused millions of dollars in losses for the rendering industry, that collects and processes grease.
A 1998 episode of The Simpsons featured Homer Simpson trying to make a quick buck selling grease.