Two accused grease thieves weren't slippery enough to get away from Sarasota Police.
Two men are charged with stealing used cooking and fryer grease from a Wendy's in Sarasota and may be responsible for similar crimes in Pinellas County, authorities said Friday.
The duo was seen using a white truck to extract the grease from a storage system attached to the inside of the fast food restaurant at 1601 S. Tamiami Trail around 3:30 a.m. Thursday, authorities said. When the restaurant's manager noticed the men were not wearing the normal uniform and were acting unusual, he called police.
A patrol officer found the two men and the truck later that night at Fruitville Road and Shade Avenue, police said. The truck was equipped with four 250-gallon tanks attached to a gasoline-powered, portable sump pump in the rear.
The arrests of the two men, 23-year-old Leroy L. Shorter of Pinellas Park and 27-year-old Dargel Exposito of Seminole, helped Pinellas Park Police clear four similar cases, a Sarasota Police spokesperson said Friday.
"This 'yellow grease' is a valuable commodity, in raw form, and can be recycled to make bio-fuel," said Officer Linda DeNiro in a media release.
Shorter and Exposito are both charged with burglary of a structure. In addition, Shorter is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and tampering with evidence after he attempted to eat a piece of marijuana when officers pulled the truck over, according to an arrest report.
Sign up for the Sarasota Patch email newsletter to get our top headlines delivered straight to your inbox so you won't miss a thing!