A couple from Yonkers has been arrested for allegedly stealing about 650 gallons of used cooking oil from various eastern Long Island restaurants over the weekend, Suffolk County police said.

An off-duty police officer was on his way to work when he spotted a Ford van that was previously used to steal oil at the New Grand Buffet on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge at 8 a.m. Sunday, police said.

The officer saw 40-year-old Domingo Santos withdraw used cooking oil from an oil canister behind the restaurant, police said.

He and his 31-year-old girlfriend, Vanessa Liriano, were each charged petty larceny, possession of stolen property and possession of burglar’s tools. Santos was additionally charged with criminal possession of marijuana.

Police estimated that the oil, which is typically refined and sold as bio-fuel, had a value of about $2,000.

Santos and Liriano will be arraigned Monday at First District Court in Central Islip.

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Fourth Squad detectives are continuing the investigation.


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Timothy Bolger is the Managing Editor for the Long Island Press who’s been working to uncover unreported stories since shortly after it launched in 2003. When he’s not editing, getting hassled by The Man or fielding cold calls to the newsroom, he covers crime, general interest and political news in addition to reporting longer, sometimes investigative features. He won’t be happy until everyone is as pissed off as he is about how screwed up Lawn Guyland is.