POLICE are urging pubs, restaurants and takeaways to increase vigilance and security following spate of used cooking oil theft incidents.

Officers in the Craven District of North Yorkshire are investigating three offences in the space of three days.

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Although a motive has not yet been established, it is known that used cooking oil has been targeted by organised criminals in other parts of the UK to use in diesel cars.

The first incident occurred outside a pub in Cracoe, near Skipton, at around 3.20am on Thursday (May 19).

Burglars stole a barrel of used cooking oil and a child’s toy sit-on car.

A white van was seen near the property at the time of the incident.

Then on Saturday (May 21) at around 8.30am, three men in a black 02-reg Mercedes Vito panel van made off empty handed after being challenged by staff at the rear of a pub in Grassington.

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However, just after 2pm the same day, the black van arrived at the rear of a pub in Settle where a full barrel of used cooking oil was taken.

It is believed it was poured into another container before it was placed in the van.

Enquiries are ongoing to identify those involved in the incidents.

Witnesses or anyone with information about suspicious activity related to these incidents are urged to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room quoting reference number 12220088203.


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