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Two held in theft of McDonald's cooking grease

Two men were arrested Friday on suspicion of stealing from a Hemet McDonald’s, but unlike the Hamburglar they weren’t after a meal, they wanted grease.

After being burglarized at least twice, the owner of the McDonald's staked out the restaurant after hours and called the police at midnight to say he would be inside waiting for the suspects, the Riverside Press-Enterprise reported.

About 1:50 a.m., the owner called and said robbers were at the restaurant, in the 2300 block of West Florida Avenue, stealing grease.

When authorities arrived they found Noel Portillo, 22, of Compton, and Ricardo Robles, 24, of Long Beach, sitting inside a Dodge Ram with the engine running and a large metal tank mounted on the bed.

Police reviewed surveillance footage before arresting the pair.

The owner of the McDonald’s said thieves have been stealing thousands of dollars worth of cooking grease from restaurants. The grease is sold to recyclers and can be refined into biodiesel fuel, which has caused prices to skyrocket.

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