Four accused of stealing used cooking oil in Middletown
Three Newark men, and one from North Arlington, face an assortment of burglary and drug charges connected to a series of thefts of used cooking oil from a Middletown restaurant.
According to township police who conducted a month-long probe, Carmelo Romero, 51, of North Arlington, and Alfredo Llivicota, 48, of Newark, were arrested October 10. Renaldo E. Ramirez, 29, and Edgar Hernandez, 56, both of Newark, were arrested two days later.
The lootings took place at Sono Sushi, on Route 35. Used cooking oil, traditionally collected by rendering companies that contract with restaurants and food-service industry companies, is a valuable component in production of biodiesel fuel.
Romero and Llivicota were placed in the Monmouth County Correctional Institute (MCCI) in Freehold in lieu of $30,000 bail each, and were given the option of release on payment of 10 percent, police said. They were charged with fourth-degree counts of theft, possession of burglary tools, and conspiracy.
Ramirez faces two counts of theft along with possession of burglary tools, and conspiracy. A second theft count corresponds to a previously-reported incident that was captured on surveillance video. He was placed in MCCI in lieu of $70,000 bail, with an option for release on payment of 10 percent.
Hernandez faces counts of theft, possession of burglary tools, conspiracy, and possession of Oxycodone. His bail at MCCI was set at $60,000, with an option for release on payment of 10 percent.
Police did not indicate whether Sono Sushi is contracted with a rendering company, or whether the suspects worked for one or worked independently.
Charges are accusations. Defendants are presumed innocent unless, and until, found guilty in a court of law.