England

Stourport men jailed for used cooking oil thefts

Stuart Bradley and Matthew Walker (left to right)
Image caption Bradley and Walker (l to r) were arrested after an alarm went off on an oil tank at a KFC restaurant

Two men have been jailed for a series of cooking oil thefts from takeaways, restaurants and supermarkets.

Stuart Bradley, 38, and Matthew Walker, 27, both from Stourport, Worcestershire, posed as contractors, to stealing used oil which they sold to be turned into biodiesel.

Police said the two men had targeted companies such as KFC, Tesco and Asda.

Bradley and Walker admitted conspiracy to steal and were each jailed for two years, at Birmingham Crown Court.

West Midlands Police said the men used uniforms, paperwork and identification almost identical to official contractors, meaning staff were often "unaware that they had been scammed".

Detectives said Bradley and Walker were believed to be linked to 227 oil thefts across the UK, between November 2011 and February 2012.

Bradley, of Mostyn Road and Walker, from The Dell, pleaded guilty to a total of 19 offences in October.

They were first arrested after an alarm went off on an oil tank at KFC in Merry Hill, West Midlands, in February.

West Midlands Police said a vat of oil and a homemade siphoning kit had been discovered in their van.

Det Con Gareth Homer described it as "one of the most elaborate crimes" he had been involved with and had resulted in losses of thousands of pounds for official contractors.

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