Thousands of pounds of cooking oil have been stolen from two Rock Hill restaurants in the past few weeks.
In the most recent, Michael Wilson, a manager of Wing King Cafe on Oakland Avenue, reported 200 gallons in tanks at the restaurant were stolen between last Thursday and Tuesday morning, according to a Rock Hill Police report.
Wilson last saw the cooking oil where it is stored behind the restaurant on Oct. 20. It's worth about $1,100, the report says.
The cooking oil was spent, meaning it had been used in the restaurant's fryers, Wilson said Wednesday.
Another restaurant, Chicken Shak on East Main Street, reported a similar theft this week, the report says. On Monday, the restaurant reported 5,600 pounds of cooking oil was taken from two storage tanks behind the building. Each storage tank was capable of keeping 2,800 pounds of oil.
Officers determined the suspect probably inserted a hose into the top of the tank and pumped out the oil, the report says. The stolen oil is worth about $1,176.
The Chicken Shak employee told police the restaurant had a similar larceny two weeks earlier but didn't report it.
There are no leads or suspects at this time.
Lt. Brad Redfearn said both incidents are under investigation, but they have not been connected at this point.
Wilson said both Wing King and Chicken Shak have contracts with Griffin Industries, a company whose website says it "provides ... animal and bakery byproduct and restaurant grease recycling services ... ."
The recycled grease can be used for animal feed and pet food ingredients, as well as for renewable fuels and organic fertilizers, the website says.
"(The oil) can be sold and converted into biodiesel," said Wilson, who has been manager of the Wing King Cafe for about a year and said it has had cooking oil thefts in the past.
Anyone with any information on the two thefts is encouraged to call Rock Hill Police at 803-329-7000.