Lawton_We've all heard of people stealing electronics or cash. Now police say some people in Lawton have resorted to stealing city trash cans from other people's homes. So far this year 5 people have reported their trash cans stolen, 10 since December 10th. But if thieves put the stolen cans in front of their driveways, the trash man will know it's not theirs.
At the street or right next to your home, your trash can may not be safe from thieves who'll roll it right out of your driveway. "I guess they just want the extra can for their trash maybe or maybe to use around their house or something, but if it's put out, we will find it," said Lawton's Superintendent of Solid Waste Collection, Jayson Powell.
That's because each trash can is marked with a serial number. It's heat-stamped nearly through to the inside of the can. Each of those numbers is registered to only 1 address. "If they have a can that doesn't belong to the address the driver will call it in if it's something suspicious or if he notices that there's an extra can and we'll run the serial numbers here on our computers and we can tell right where that can is supposed to be," said Powell.
Then the police come in. "Well, the first thing we're going to do is get that person identified, if they do not have proper I.D. then there's no ifs, ands, or buts, they're going to jail," said Lt. Larry LaFrance of the Lawton Police Department. Punishment could be a fine up to 500 dollars, jail time up to 60 days, or both.
It costs the city a bundle to replace the stolen cans too. So even though it's not fool proof, Powell says move that can up off the curb when it's empty. "Put it back, back up beside your house or behind your fence is where it's supposed to be that way no one can come up and just take it. If it's out by the street, there's a little better chance that someone's going to come by and pick it up."
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