‘It’s a nightmare, the same people every time’ – Early-morning oil thieves repeatedly target Arlesey fish and chip shop

Arlesey Fish and Chips owner Dragan Marjanovic points to the tracks of the wheelbarrow seemingly use

Arlesey Fish and Chips owner Dragan Marjanovic points to the tracks of the wheelbarrow seemingly used by thieves to carry a 200kg oil drum out to the street this morning. Photo: JP Asher - Credit: Archant

Thieves have repeatedly targeted a prize-winning fish and chip shop, parking up outside in the early morning to steal 200kg barrels of waste oil.

The van used by the thieves to steal oil from Arlesey Fish and Chips. Left, one of the thieves. Phot

The van used by the thieves to steal oil from Arlesey Fish and Chips. Left, one of the thieves. Photo: Dragan Marjanovic - Credit: Archant

The dawn raiders have returned to Arlesey Fish and Chips several times since they first struck two months ago, and were back at 5.58am on Tuesday and 6.47am today – brazenly parking their white Transit van on the street right by the shop.

The two men have been captured on CCTV and caught red-handed more than once by Dragan Marjanovic, the High Street chippy’s owner – but they haven’t yet been found by police, and Dragan cannot understand why not.

He told the Comet: “It’s absolutely ridiculous. It’s the same people and the same registration number every time, and it’s every week they’re doing it.

“I ended up getting the registration number of the van myself and giving it to the police. It’s been captured by CCTV as well, and the police have that. These people were here again today, and still nothing.

The van used by the thieves to steal oil from Arlesey Fish and Chips. Photo: Dragan Marjanovic

The van used by the thieves to steal oil from Arlesey Fish and Chips. Photo: Dragan Marjanovic - Credit: Archant


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“This has happened five, six, seven times now and I just can’t believe it. It’s a nightmare, it’s disgusting. You’re working hard and people steal from you.”

The thieves steal the oil from the back yard the chip shop shares with the New Hong Kong takeaway next door, walking down an alley from the street to reach it and then seemingly wheeling the barrels out using a barrow.

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With a full 200kg barrel of waste oil worth up to £70 to Dragan, they can provide a handy boost to his coffers – and today Dragan showed the Comet what appeared to be fresh wheelbarrow tracks heading from where the barrels are kept to where the thieves’ van was parked.

Dragan said that when he challenged one of the thieves, the intruder first claimed to be collecting rubbish, then offered him money to not call the police.

“He actually took out cash and said, ‘Come on boss, I’ll give you money’ – as if to pay me,” the chip shop owner said.

Dragan, who has owned Arlesey Fish and Chips for about five years, said that one of the men looks to be in his 50s, with the other one apparently younger.

Both have dark tanned skin and, according to Dragan, don’t speak English.

Police confirmed that they had been alerted to the theft of two barrels of oil from the shop at 6am on February 28.

A force spokeswoman said: “The incident is currently under investigation and we are following several lines of inquiry.

“We are urging anyone who might have witnessed anything suspicious or saw a white Transit van in that area at that time to get in touch.”

Anyone with information about the thefts should call Beds police on 101, quoting reference number JD/8507/2017 or JD/10940/17, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or crimestoppers-uk.org.

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