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  • Gloucestershire Constabulary

Police in Gloucestershire, England, urge business owners to be vigilant following a rise in UCO thefts

Police are warning commercial business owners to be vigilant following an increase in reports of used cooking oil (UCO) thefts across Gloucestershire in South West England.


Offenders steal UCO that has been used or is being stored for future use to transform into unregulated biodiesel, which they sell for a profit.


They will often travel in transit-style vans, storing large drums in the rear of the vehicle, and often fraudulently pose as a legitimate collector in order to steal the oil.


Officers are offering the following crime prevention to owners of pubs, restaurants and eateries:

  • Make sure you and your staff members know who your grease collector is, what vehicles they use and what uniforms they wear.

  • Know what days of the week your grease collector comes.

  • Ask for ID if you believe people claiming to be contractors are suspicious.

  • Keep UCO safely locked up in a storage area while you await collection.

  • Mark, tag or write on your oil containers. This can help police to identify them if they are stolen and later recovered.

  • Consider fitting an alarm to any external storage facility.

  • Check your oil levels frequently to ensure they aren’t fluctuating drastically between service visits.

  • Contact your supplier about the possibility of lockable tubs and drums to prevent siphoning.

  • Consider appropriate security lighting and CCTV. Even fitting dummy CCTV cameras and displaying CCTV signage may be enough to act as a deterrent.


Officers are urging businesses owners to report any suspicious activity to police.



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