It may not be the most appetizing thing on the menu. In fact, it's not even on the menu. But local thieves can't seem to get enough cooking oil. They're stealing it by the dumpster full from local restaurants, to clean and sell for a huge profit.
It's happened twice at the Red Rooster in Damascus in the last month. Both of thefts were caught on tape. Each time you see a crafty criminal siphon off a thousand pounds of liquid gold from the restaurant's dumpster in a matter of minutes.
The Miller family, which owns the Red Rooster, gets paid about $200 a month to let a company called Valley Proteins come haul away their used oil. It gets cleaned and is then used to fuel biodiesel fleets, and as a key ingredient in poultry feed. They can sell it for about $3 a gallon once it's cleaned.
Kevin Miller can't believe how relaxed the thief looked.
"Oh yeah, he does it all the time, because it looks like just a normal day for him," Miller says.
The thousand pounds of oil from the dumpster and 100 from the overflow barrel is worth hundreds to the Millers.
"That $200 could do a lot for my family. I'm raising three kids. That's a good chunk of change, "Miller says.
Other restaurants are getting hit too. There have been eight oil thefts in Fairfax this month.
Miller has some advice for the brazen thieves.
"I think they need to find a job. Stealing people's stuff is not an honest living," Miller says.
The family has re-enforced the lock on its oil dumpster with hopes of preventing another theft.