Mass Garbage Pail Thieves Apprehended
by Carter Pan-Jacobs
MIDTOWN MONTCLAIR: Late yesterday afternoon, the two individuals alleged to be responsible for the recent mass garbage pail theft – which left 5 square blocks of Montclair without any trash receptacles for the last three weeks – were brought to justice. Vernon Dorchester and Randall Cunningham are accused of an entirely new charge, created specifically for this case: Petty but Mass Theft.
The theft first became evident in early March, when dozens of homeowners discovered one morning that their garbage pails had been taken during the night. A five-block radius, from Valley Road North to Grove Street, was determined to have been the hardest hit by the theft.
The perpetrators are alleged to have stolen the garbage pails on numerous trash nights from outside people's houses, dumping the garbage onto the curb and throwing the pails into the back of a large truck. The truck then nonchalantly proceeded down each block, much like a garbage truck, in order to spirit away more garbage pails.
On March 15th, Montclair Police Chief Tom Riggio publicly stated that this kind of moral offensive will not go unreturned. A full-on house-by-house sweep was conducted by uniformed police officers, each looking for an obvious clue: a really, really large stash of garbage pails in a basement, garage, or attic. But no such clue emerged, $600,000 in property damage later.
It was discovered that the garbage pails had been sold to Metlife Stadium in Rutherford, to be used as – you guessed it – garbage pails. Unfortunately, getting the stolen goods returned to their rightful owners has already proven litigious, as Metlife asserts it's impossible to prove just who these garbage pails belong to.
"We figured it'd be easy to steal something that people just put outside their houses every week," Dorchester told the Times.
"Yeah," Cunningham added, "and we figured most garbage pails don't have serial numbers on them. And if they did, they're probably not too legible after all that scraping around on the ground, getting tossed around and whatnot. And even if they are legible, most people probably don't have their garbage pail receipts. I know I don't. And even if they did have them, some of those garbage pails are so old, the stores they bought them from are probably out of business by now. And even if they weren't..."
Yesterday at around 5:30pm, Dorchester and Cunningham were attempting to steal a dumpster from behind Mr. Dino's pizzeria in Watchung Plaza when they were apprehended by the guy who works in the UPS Store around the corner.
Dorchester is quoted as saying, "We were bored with garbage pails. We wanted to increase the stakes a bit, and move to dumpsters."
"Any true American can understand that," Cunningham added. "By the way, I'm not the Eagle." The meaning of that last comment has yet to be determined.
Dorchester and Cunningham each face a maximum punishment of 150 hours of community service, picking up garbage by the side of the highway.
The UPS Store guy, Steve Enson, who was responsible for their apprehension, was required to pay for the packing tape used in his citizen's arrest. His torn sweater was not covered by workmans' comp.