Litterbug crackdown follow-up

November 16, 2009 8:01:37 AM PST
In May, we gave you an exclusive, first look at Philadelphia's new high-tech, stepped-up approach to catching people literally trashing this city in the worst ways. So far, some success, but the city still needs your help identifying so-called "short dumpers" caught on camera. Caught in the act: The people in these surveillance photos are wanted for dumping their trash where it doesn't belong: in vacant lots, on public property, even on city streets. Some are so bold they do it in broad daylight. Now, police need your help identifying the doers. "We can go after these people we got on film and we can look at the pictures go out there and make an arrest." Said Captain Anthony Desher with the Neighborhood Services Division.

Since the spring, the city's installed more cameras in secret spots. Police made at least one arrest. Still, the illegal dumping does not stop. On June 6th, two men pulled up along the curb on East Silver Street in Port Richmond near a vacant lot considered a hot spot. A hidden camera caught the pair dumping construction materials right on the side of the road. "It's an out of the way location that people think they can just come here and do illegal activity," said Tom Conway with the Neighborhood Services Division.

On May 25th, a man enlisted the help of his children to dump a load of garbage on someone else's property on the same Port Richmond street. It's the sort of stuff the sanitation department might pick up for FREE, but now this man's in trouble with the law. The camera captured the license plate on his red Ford pick-up: YVY-8063. "The police department will be going after these individuals that we do have the license plate numbers for," added Conway.

On May 25th, a man pulled up in a Black Ford F-150 along Pennypack Street in the Holmesburg section. He left behind an unwanted lawn mower. His license number: YPD 2292. Two days earlier, same spot, the camera captured the driver of this silver Ford pickup dumping tree trunks and bags upon bags of trash. License number: YXH 9119. These so-called short dumpers never suspected a camera was recording their actions or that the surveillance photos would end up on Action News. City officials hope others even considering illegal dumping now consider themselves warned.

"We want to send the message that we don't tolerate short dumpers, that we don't want short dumpers in our city," said Conway.


You pay the price when people illegally dump their trash. It's your tax dollars the city spends to clean it up. Those short dumpers that do get caught also pay a price. They face hefty fines and can even lose their vehicles. If you recognize anyone in those surveillance photos, call the Neighborhood Services Division at 1-215-685-9500


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