RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Trash cans are disappearing from some Richmonders’ homes and now police are stepping in to look for the trash bin bandits who took them.
Police said the second precinct is investigating a report for a larceny of a trash can. The report was filed two weeks ago, claiming the theft happened along West 28th Street.
However, several neighbors in that area said more trash cans and recycling carts were stolen in recent weeks.
Surveillance video provided to 8News shows someone stealing several trash cans from the alleyway between West 27th and 28th Streets in Woodland Heights.
In one incident, a man was caught driving a white pick-up truck around 6 a.m. on June 22. The man is seen dragging the cans and stacking them in the back of the unmarked truck.
At least five trash cans were hauled away on the truck.
In another incident, a dark blue car with a trailer was caught on surveillance camera while it hauled away trash cans and recycling carts from that same alleyway.
8News reached out to the city’s Department of Public Works Monday and they said they’re not aware of the investigation. However, any city worker who may be collecting cans for replacement would display proper clothes and logos.
“When we collect a broken trash can for replacement, the can is collected by a city employee (in uniform) driving a city of Richmond marked vehicle. We do not use private or third-party distributors or collectors,” the department said in a statement.
“Why do people need these trashcans?” asked Carmen Vasquez.
She’s keeping a closer eye on the street she’s called home for 10 years because it’s where she once became a victim.
“It was quite frustrating because you go to take your trash out and suddenly there’s no trash can there,” she said.
Some trash can crooks stole her bin from that same Woodland Heights alleyway several years ago. Not knowing what to do with her garbage, the trash began to pile up. She was also forced to dump her trash in other neighbors’ trash cans.
“I’ve resorted to spray painting my address on my trash cans so it’s a little harder for people to take it,” Vasquez added.
The Central Virginia Waste Management Authority said since January about 20 of their carts have been reported stolen in Richmond.
The Department of Public Works said they don’t track how many trash cans were reported to them lost and/or stolen.
Though it’s a trashy thing to do, the trash capers wouldn’t have to pay the fee for a new can. Instead, the burden falls on the victims.
“I’m blown away, to be honest,” Vasquez said. “Is there a service that we could provide that prevents people from needing to steal these trash cans?”
Residents in the area said they had to wait about one to two weeks for their replacements. Others are still waiting.
“This happening 10 years ago probably was not as shocking as it is today when there’s so much renovation happening,” Vasquez said.