The Rise of the Green Bandit
Theft of used cooking oil is on the rise, and it has biofuel producers nervously guarding their grease. High prices at the gas pump give new value to the formerly overlooked cooking waste product, which can be refined to make biodiesel. The EPA requires that refiners be registered, but as biodiesel pirates continue to strike, some licensed producers are finding their barrels empty.
In other green crime news, a string of manhole cover thefts in Philadelphia is creating a safety hazard for unsuspecting bicyclists, pedestrians, and drivers. Global demand for recycled metals is growing, which means that manhole covers (a source of cast iron), copper wiring, and even beer kegs (a source of stainless steel) are catching thieves' eyes.