Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill to crack down on theft of used kitchen grease.

The bill, AB 1566, by Assemblyman Chris Holden, D-Pasadena, was crafted in response to a rise in thefts of used kitchen grease, which has become more valuable as an ingredient for cleaner-burning biofuels. At $3 a pound, a truckload of used kitchen grease can net thieves up to $600.

The bill toughens penalties on thieves and gives local police the authority to impound suspected illegal hauling trucks for up to 15 days.

Restaurant operators and grease recycling companies pushed for the bill, which had no official opposition. Brown signed the measure late on Friday.

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