A Paterson man was caught trying to steal cooking oil from a Warren restaurant Thursday morning, police said.
Juan Pagan, 30, of Paterson, was charged with the theft of used cooking oil after police found him allegedly trying to take some from behind a restaurant in the Bardy Farms Shopping Center, at Mt. Bethel Road and Mountain Boulevard.
Police said Pagan was discovered attempting to take the oil at 8:05 a.m. Thursday.
Theft of used cooking oil has been on the rise in recent months, as the price of the oil has sharply increased since it's used to make biofuel.
The Washington Post reported the price for used cooking oil was hitting $3 per gallon last summer, after a series of thefts in Washington suburbs. Warren police aren't unfamiliar with the crime, either—although unsure of the motive at the time, police investigated the theft of oil from a Mountain Boulevard restaurant in May (Montville police charged a Somerset County man in connection to several oil thefts, possibly including the theft in Warren).
Police released Pagan after the charges were filed, and impounded the vehicle he was driving.