Belfast Telegraph

Police can surely sniff out thieves

By Lindy McDowell

First they came for our copper piping ...

Thieves have been causing major headaches for councils, utility companies, schools, churches, and householders by nicking just about anything metallic that isn't pinned down.

And many things that are.

The price of metal has made this a lucrative trade to the point where even, shamefully, memorials to the dead have been scooped and sold on for scrap metal value by the criminal scumbags.

Gates, pipes, lead roof flashing, manhole covers, you name it, they've all been swiped.

And having taken the frying pan the thieves are now eyeing up the oil in the fryer.

In England, police have been dealing with a spate of chip shop break-ins where the target has been - bizarrely enough - cooking oil.

The illegal takeaways are thought to be down to crooks who sell the oil on to power vehicles that run on bio-diesel.

Similar thefts, it's reported, are currently rife in America. Interestingly we learn that it's not actually all that difficult to convert any old car to run on Crisp 'n' Dry.

Apparently the oil can be doctored at home to suit your eco vehicle. You can buy a kit on the internet. There are videos showing how you can transform Flora into four star.

The thinking presumably is that polyunsaturated is cheaper than petrol. Especially if you're nicking the stuff ...

Which brings us back to the new oil rustlers.

Surely the criminals involved can't be that difficult to trace. If a car's belching out chippie fumes, it may be fishy.

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