Police: Cooking oil heist leads to highway chase; 2 arrested

June 10, 2022 GMT

OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. (AP) — Two men from New York led Connecticut police Thursday on a more than 50-mile (80-kilometer) chase along Interstate 95 in a rental truck loaded with stolen cooking oil, hitting another car and injuring a woman along the way, police said.

The episode began around 9:30 a.m., when the owner of a pizza place in Old Saybrook reported that he had confronted some would-be oil thieves at his establishment and then saw them trying to do the same at a nearby eatery, Old Saybrook police said in a release.

The pizza shop owner, Stavros Gianitsos, told NBC Connecticut that such heists have been happening frequently in the area.

Workers at the second restaurant confronted the men, who then drove off, Old Saybrook police said. They said officers told the driver to stop, but he kept going, hit another car in Westbrook —sending an elderly woman to a hospital in stable condition — and got onto the interstate.


Connecticut state police picked up the pursuit. They eventually used stop sticks, which flatten tires, to bring the truck to a halt along I-95 in Westport, troopers said in a release. They said the two men in the truck ran into the woods, but troopers caught up with them.

The 26-year-old driver, who’s from Yonkers, New York, and his 22-year-old passenger, from the Bronx, were arrested on various charges. Both are due in court Friday.

Old Saybrook police said they seized the truck and found more than 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters) of stolen cooking oil. They said the vehicle was three days past its return date to a rental office in Hawthorne, New York.