Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Recycling Scavengers

This post comes a bit out of order--the incidents took place on Friday, June 12th. However, there's good background information for residents.

From Andrew:

Good morning, DPM neighbors. This one's not a huge one, but to keep everyone updated, there were very unkempt recycling rummagers in the neighborhood this morning. The Sheriff's Department was responding last I was updated (I'm presently at work). The rummagers were on Watson Street when my wife called the police, but one other resident closer to DPM school came out to report when deputies arrived on scene, having also called the police.I'm assuming the sheriffs will handle this before my wife returns to the area where she saw them, but if I have any updates on the resolution of the matter, I will send one more e-mail. Thanks, everyone!

From Brenda:

I believe I was the person who also reported these homelesslooking scavangers/looters this morning. I took pictures of them leaving my street and then called Sheriff and then followed this man and woman both on bicycles. I spoke to the sheriff on street and then observed him talking to the looters on El Camino at Avalon. He just said a few words to them..nothing else. So,I wanted to see what they would then do-so I again followed them. The bicycle the man was riding was pulling a large square cart that was loaded with black garbage was over flowing and he had a full sack on the front of the bike.The woman a small petite dirty blonde also had full bags on her bike. I followed them and they ended up at a recycling station in the parking lot at Watt and Arden--beside the Dollar Store.

From Trish:

I have called so many times about the guy in the maroon Taurus. The sheriff never gets here when he is still around.

A Special Note:

Normally this blog, much like the alert list, will not include opinion. Comments to help make things more secure, additions to reports, etc. are very welcome.

On this issue there was some discussion of why we're concerned with the scavengers at all. For those not familiar with the situation, I think it's important to understand why this matters.

1. Undesirables in the neighborhood--If you're at all concerned about your property value and the safety of your family and neighbors, it's important to remember that garbage scroungers are often people on the fringes of society. I'm more concerned about the safety of my 5 year old and my wife than the 5 cents they'll make off the plastic bottle in my recycling. I give as generously as I am able to private charity to help them those in need. While I applaud the initiative of recyclers, they should collect from traditional sources, as has been done for decades (roadside, etc.)

2. Crime--I've hinted at this above. How many people going through your garbage are just trying to survive, and how many are looking to commit identity theft? How many of these people aren't stable, and are willing to commit violence?

3. Your garbage pick up rates--The county, which has been raising garbage and sewer rates, relies on the recycling program for income. Many of the scavengers aren't local. They're taking the revenue that keeps your rates as low as they presently are for personal gain. In short, they're stealing from our community's common pool of resources and removing it from the community.

Another resident also commented, indicating why she's concerned:

From Mary:

I've owned my home in this neighborhood for over 5 years. These supposedly harmless people have tresspassed on my property with their mobility machines often tearing up my landscaping going through my recycle and leaving a huge mess, breaking bottles and leaving the glass everywhere, throwing their cigarette butts all over my property, and leaving whatever garbage they don't want (candy wrappers, etc) anywhere they choose. Guess who has to clean it up?

Three weeks ago I had caught several of them on my property with flashlights, checking out my front porch, etc. even looking in my backyard. I had the police out at 1 am in the morning, not because I take pleasure in doing that, but because having flashlights shine in your windows at 12:30 am is a little scary. When I checked the street they had taken all of the recycle out of everyone's recycle bin and it was all laying everywhere, including bottles that anyone driving can run over and make an even bigger mess. I've found at least two of them checking out the homes during the day to see if someone is home or not so they could steal.

By the way, are you hooked up to the county sheriffs website? We have at least 8 crimes a week within a mile of here, mostly theft. I no longer leave my garage side door open to air out my garage, because I've had them attempt to come in and see what they could take from there as well. Two of them I recognize, because I see them down at Raleys all the time turning in their recycle items that they've "stolen" for money. Usually it's with a cigarette hanging out of their mouths or a bottle of beer or wine in their hands. (interesting how they have money for that)

I worked as a temp for the County for the Dept of Human Assistance for a year. We received over 900 applications a week for benefits from people asking for help. Many were denied for fraudulent reasons, but those that are in need received cash on a daily basis for food, yes that's right, your tax dollars at work, a place to stay, all the free medical they want including drug and alcohol rehabilitation forever or as long as they think they need it, a clothing allowance, and if they need their tattoos,( that they so irresponsibly had done to themselves), removed so they can possibly get a job, oh yes, we pay for that too.I'll be darned if I'm going to let them rummage through my recycle bin, create the mess that they create, tresspass illegally on my property, and collect the recycle for which I'm already paying for through my tax dollars. Not to mention that from a real estate point of view, that is the WORST thing you can let happen in a neighborhood. Try to sell your home when the buyer checks out the crime stats and finds out how many indigents we have running through the neighborhood, or talks to the neighbors to find out that we have a chronic problem, which by the way, we do. Oh by the way, one of them is on the sex offenders list as well, he lives on Marconi, and I've seen him a couple of times. Do you want him in the neighborhood going through your recycled items while children are walking to school?Frankly, I'm of the mind set that we need to clean up this neighborhood, not let it go to those, not less fortunate than us, but ones that choose not to work like rest of us and prefer to just take whatever society will allow them to have.Anyone needing food, clothing, shelter, surgery, and I mean anyone, citizen or not, is eligible to get whatever they need from the DHA. All they have to do is apply. Anyway, that's my feeling on it and I intend to remain aggressive until we clean up this neighborhood.

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