Thieves Steal Thousands of Dollars Worth of Cooking Oil From Chick-fil-A Over Several Months

By: Ben Campbell | Last updated: Nov 03, 2023

Popular fast-food restaurant Chick-fil-A revealed that a group of thieves has recently stolen hundreds of gallons of cooking oil. 

It’s believed the band of thieves has so far made off with thousands of dollars worth of stock from a restaurant in Georgia.

‘Eat Mor Chikin’

Chick-fil-A is one of the most popular fast-food restaurants in the US, with close to 3,000 restaurants spread across 48 states.


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Recently, the company made the news not for its food, but for theft. One restaurant in Athens, Georgia, has been the victim of a well-organized robbery.


A Well-Coordinated Crime

Over the past few months, a group of thieves has been targeting a Georgia Chick-fil-A and thus far has successfully made off with hundreds of gallons of used cooking oil.


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The restaurant claimed in the police report that the thieves arrived in the middle of the night when the store was closed.

In the Dark of Night

The most recent robbery occurred at approximately 3 a.m. on October 5 in Athens.


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In total, there have been four robberies. The thieves managed to steal approximately 800 gallons of used oil that was worth around $2,000.

Caught on Camera

After the fourth successful attempt at stealing the oil, a manager at the restaurant caught the thieves on CCTV.


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The manager phoned the police in the morning when he realized the used oil had been stolen. On camera, a U-Haul box truck is seen pulling up behind the fast food restaurant, where the used cooking oil is stored.

Two Masked Thieves

In the footage, two men were seen getting out of the truck, and proceeded to take anywhere from 200 to 300 gallons of cooking oil during the early hours of the morning.

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The manager reported to the police that the thieves had stolen oil from the restaurant on at least four separate occasions during the last month.


Breaking and Entering

According to the manager who was in charge of the store, the thieves had to destroy a lock and heavy-duty chain worth at least $70.

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What this then implies, according to local police, is that the thieves planned their attacks in advance and are equipped with the necessary tools to break heavy-duty locks.


No Suspects as of Yet

The local police chief of the city of Athens, Georgia, has revealed that, as of now, there are no suspects. They have appealed to the community for any information that could help them in the case.

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According to police, the investigation is ongoing. However, it seems unlikely the thieves will return to the same Chick-fil-A, given the amount of media attention the case has received.


What’s the Point of Stealing Used Oil?

Online users have been commenting on the unusual robbery, with many questioning why someone would go to all the trouble to steal used cooking oil.

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According to the Chick-fil-A manager, they place the oil in containers in back of the restaurant until it can be taken to a recycling plant.


Can Any Money Be Made?

Restaurants can make money on their old cooking oil by allowing “used cooking oil” (UCO) collectors to pick it up and take it to a recycling plant.

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Here, the used oil can be treated and used in the production of biodiesel fuel, which is becoming a lucrative market around the world.


A Profitable Business

In recent years, fast food restaurants have realized not only is their UCO recyclable but positionally profitable as well.

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The global cooking oil market has been growing at a substantial rate. The Allied Market Research group recently released a report that claims by the year 2026, the UCO market could be worth close to $9 billion.


Thieves in an Untouched Market

The thieves who have been stealing the oil from Chick-fil-A in Athens, Georgia, have most likely been selling it back to UPO collectors.

Source: Matt Candy/Getty Images

As of now, there is no regulation on who can sell such oil to the recycling plants. Nor does it require extensive documentation explaining where the oil comes from. With such a growing market, we may see more robberies like this in the near future.