Cooking oil thefts on rise due to high diesel prices with Gosport businessman catching men in act of stealing containers on CCTV

Cooking oil thefts have been increasing and one business owner from Gosport has caught criminals stealing from him on CCTV.

Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 4:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 14th June 2022, 4:19 pm

Shaz Montasser, owner of Bap and Burrito Bar, in Stoke Road, has had containers stolen from him three times in three months.

The 33-year-old said he has been speaking to other entrepreneurs, and reckons establishments have been hit over the past six months across Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent, Wickham, Fareham, and Droxford.

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CCTV footage shows two men stealing two cooking oil containers from Bap and Burrito takeaway, in Stoke Road, Gosport, on Saturday morning (June 11) at roughly 3.01am. The picture is a still from the CCTV footage. Picture: Shaz Montasser.

He told The News: ‘You’re looking at 20 to 30 businesses being involved, possibly more.

‘It happens to them all the time.

‘One pub owner said to me they came into the building pretending to be part of an oil business, but just left without leaving any forms.

‘It’s happened a lot, and whoever has used oil is being targeted all the time.’

Mr Montasser estimates approximately 12 or more drums have been stolen.

He added: ‘We always put our oil containers in the garden, and didn’t think nothing of it.

‘We rang up the cash and carry to collect them, and provide a form.

‘It went the next day, but the guy who was supposed to collect it arrived a week later, and that’s when it clicked that it got nicked.’

The owner added he could not get CCTV footage of the thieves until now.

On Saturday morning, at 3.01am, two men were seen stealing oil drums from the garden behind the takeaway.

Mr Montasser had put them out purposely, leaving the garden gate unbolted and unlocked to catch them in the act.

It has left the Gosport resident with mixed emotions.

He said: ‘I thought great, I’m finally getting somewhere, as well as annoyed that it happened again.’

The price of diesel has rose to above £1.80 a litre in May.

UK police forces have said criminals have been targeting it for use as fuel in cars.

The 33-year-old described the impact on his business as ‘not the end of the world’, but it is still a loss of potential income.

‘It’s the fact they broke into my premises and took something that was not there’s, that’s the frustrating thing about it’, he added.

A spokesman from Hampshire Constabulary said anyone with information should call 101, quoting 44220230966.