A Yonkers couple has been accused of stealing hundreds of gallons of used cooking oil from restaurants on Long Island, police say.
Domingo Santos and his girlfriend Vanessa Liriano both face multiple charges, including 16 counts of petit larceny, for their alleged roles in several thefts in Suffolk County.
Police say Santos and Liriano were cuffed after a police officer on his way to work Sunday spotted their vehicle, a 2004 Ford van that matched the description of a vehicle spotted in several other cooking oil thefts, outside the New Grand Buffet in Hauppauge.
The officer circled around and allegedly saw Santos taking used oil from a canister behind the restaurant.
Investigators later found that Santos and Liriano had 650 gallons of used cooking oil. The oil is usually refined and used as biofuel and is worth about $2,000.
A woman at a catering facility from where oil was stolen called the substance, "the new gold." She said cooking oil has been stolen from her facility at least a dozen times in six months.
Santos and Liriano will both be arraigned Monday in Islip. It’s not clear if they have attorneys.