Three Newark men arrested for cooking oil theft in Linden

LINDEN — On Jan. 17, at 9:22 a.m., police were sent to the Dragonfly Restaurant, located at 661 W. Edgar Rd. in Aviation Plaza, on a report of three men driving a white cargo van stealing cooking oil from the rear of the building.

Officers arriving on the scene, checked the area, and located a vehicle fitting the description travelling behind Shop-Rite near the airport property. The exterior of the vehicle appeared to be covered, in part, with cooking oil, and the officers detected the odor of cooking oil coming from the interior of the vehicle, a 1998 Ford van.

The three occupants allegedly told officers that they were looking for cooking oil. The officers located a compartment in the van which was modified to store a 250 gallon container with hoses and a pump attached to draw the oil. The container held approximately 100 gallons of oil, which was later valued at approximately $220.

Video surveillance also confirmed that the men were involved in the alleged theft and all three were arrested and charged with conspiracy and theft. A pair of bolt cutters was found in the van which led to a charge of possession of burglary tools.

Edward Hernandez, 21, and Steven Cruz, 38, both of Newark, were held on bails of $25,000 and $50,000, respectively. Hernandez also had an active contempt warrant from Newark. Jonathan M. Miranda Nunez, 25, also of Newark, was released on a summons. All three parties face a court date of Jan. 27.