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"Citizen's Arrest" re: Dumping

mjwalsh

6 bay SS w/laundromat
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The current mindset of the local PD is a big factor in getting a complaint filed & for it to stick it seems. Randy's current area's situation appears to be an "effort in futility" littering chargewise ... it seems is reflected by his post. I have very painful memories of how persistent I had to be to get a contractor charged or even a strong enough warning of restitution required on a "HORRIFIC" tar all over my overhead doors, walls & floor. Some of you may remember that post several years ago about the 7-8 man hours & lots of chemical use thread. I suppose we could have tried to hire a private attorney but I was not chummy enough with any of them at the time. Usually private attorneys want an extremely high upfront fee!!!
 

mac

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I think you are approaching this wrong, I prosecute this as theft of service. I can sympathize with not wanting to prosecute littering, but this is not littering- it is theft. It is NOT a minor annoyance, it is costing me thousands of dollars per year.

Littering: "carelessly discarded refuse." (freedictionary)

Theft of Service: a crime which is committed when a person obtains valuable services — as opposed to goods — by deception, force, threat or other unlawful means, i.e., without lawfully compensating the provider for these services.

In plain english, If you are paying for trash collection, and somebody brings a tied-off bag of garbage and leaves on your property/dumpster without paying you, they are stealing a service. This is the "service" (as opposed to product) version of shoplifting. It is a misdemeanor, and goes on their permanent record.

Whenever somebody tells me "its just a bag of trash, get over it" I remind them that the service of trash collection is one of the biggest industries in the US, look up the value of Waste Management or Republic Services if you think I'm wrong, they are both fortune 500, climbing steadily.
Paul, you are absolutely correct in your statement. Unfortunately though reality sometimes rears its ugly head. While we in the business appreciate the offense, our police mostly just blow it off. I used to own a wash in south Miami and we had a breakin. Big dollar loss so we called the Miami police. Three hours later a cop shows up.. When my partner said we called three hours ago he replied, and I am not making this up, "Look I only make $90,000 per year. You think I'm going to bust my ass for something like this?" In Florida an illegal aleaien has more rights than I do. If he gets pulled over for a DUI with no license, insurance, or registration, they might take the car but let them go. For me I get slammed with thousands in court costs and fines. It's sad, but just a reflection of our times.
 
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I contacted the local Sheriff's Deputy regarding an excessive trash dumping incident. 14 items in the dumpster, including 9 large bags of trash, and rolled carpeting thrown behind dumpster.

My wash is in CA, which has essentially de-criminalized just about everything under about a $1,000 loss. However, the Deputy was willing to take a report and send me a "Citizen's Arrest" form. Since it was a misdemeanor not witnessed by a Peace Officer, this is their process. I filled it out, and submitted a chronology along with multiple videos in support. Fortunately the blockhead drove right by the license plate camera and I got his plate #. This report and the "Citizen's Arrest" form then gets submitted to the DA for any action or non-action. As we all know, non-action is the likely outcome. I looked up the Deputy's report this morning (Sheriff's log) and it was listed as a call about "littering."

I'm not familiar with the "Citizen's Arrest" process. The last flagrant dumper I reported (lucky me) happened to have an outstanding warrant, so he went off to jail that night. Does anyone know how the "Citizen's Arrest" process in CA works, and is there any downside to pursuing this?
we have a lock on our dumpsters, but sometimes people still pry the plastic tops open and still puts the trash in the dumper
 

Sequoia

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I think you are approaching this wrong, I prosecute this as theft of service. I can sympathize with not wanting to prosecute littering, but this is not littering- it is theft. It is NOT a minor annoyance, it is costing me thousands of dollars per year.

Littering: "carelessly discarded refuse." (freedictionary)

Theft of Service: a crime which is committed when a person obtains valuable services — as opposed to goods — by deception, force, threat or other unlawful means, i.e., without lawfully compensating the provider for these services.

In plain english, If you are paying for trash collection, and somebody brings a tied-off bag of garbage and leaves on your property/dumpster without paying you, they are stealing a service. This is the "service" (as opposed to product) version of shoplifting. It is a misdemeanor, and goes on their permanent record.

Whenever somebody tells me "its just a bag of trash, get over it" I remind them that the service of trash collection is one of the biggest industries in the US, look up the value of Waste Management or Republic Services if you think I'm wrong, they are both fortune 500, climbing steadily.
I suggested theft of service to the deputy. Hw wrote littering in his report.
 

Sequoia

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I've been reviewing the dumpster camera videos for a few weeks now. I recently spent a day working at the wash, and politely chased away half a dozen "small" dumpers probably totaling a dozen bags of trash in one day. None of the wanna be dumpers purchased a car wash service.

I heard the same line everyone has: "What? It's just a couple little bags of trash!"

I'm going nuclear. I called the trash company today and told them to remove the dumpster from the property. I am going to try not accepting any trash at all. I expect shaky results for a month or two, but I am hoping to break long held habits formed in my small community.

We will see how it works out.
 

Randy

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I've been reviewing the dumpster camera videos for a few weeks now. I recently spent a day working at the wash, and politely chased away half a dozen "small" dumpers probably totaling a dozen bags of trash in one day. None of the wanna be dumpers purchased a car wash service.

I heard the same line everyone has: "What? It's just a couple little bags of trash!"

I'm going nuclear. I called the trash company today and told them to remove the dumpster from the property. I am going to try not accepting any trash at all. I expect shaky results for a month or two, but I am hoping to break long held habits formed in my small community.

We will see how it works out.
Be sure to put the Sheriff department on speed dial. I had remove my garbage cans a few times and the customers would put there garbage where the can should have been or they laid it on the vac island. Please keep us posted, this could get interesting.
 

Sequoia

AKA Duane H- 3 bay SS
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Randy, I just noticed we joined the forum three days apart back in 2007. Yes I will keep you all posted.
 
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