Men arrested in theft of used cooking oil from Burger King

WICHITA — Two men from Missouri have been arrested and accused of stealing used cooking oil from a fast-food restaurant in Wichita.

The manager of the Burger King at 528 N. Oliver noticed the men pumping oil from the storage tank as he arrived for work about 5:30 a.m. Thursday, Lt. Mike Hennessy said.

He did not recognize the men as employees of the company with the contract for removing the oil, so he approached and asked who they were.

The men left after a brief conversation, and the manager called police. An officer pulled the men over at Kellogg and I-135 after spotting their flatbed pickup with a large black storage tank on the back.

One of the suspects is a 59-year-old man from Everton, Mo., and the other is a 45-year-old man from Springfield, Mo., Hennessy said.

Authorities in several southeast Kansas towns — among them Iola and Cherryvale — have expressed interest in the two suspects, Hennessy said. Used cooking oil has been reported as stolen from restaurants there as well.

The used oil can be recycled and sold for use in animal feed and biodiesel, Hennessy said.