Like many parts of Georgia and the greater nation, Barrow County has experienced economic challenges over the past few years. While most people react to these challenges with determination and ethical aplomb, two gentlemen recently tried to get ahead by trespassing and rummaging through dumpsters. On December 30, 2012, the Barrow County Sheriff’s department received a call about an unusual white vehicle loitering in an industrial park late at night. When a deputy was dispatched to the scene, he witnessed a curious circumstance unfold. Suspiciously, the reported truck was in the process of leaving as the deputy arrived at the scene.
According to the responding deputy, he witnessed the truck pulling in behind a set of closed buildings. Upon closer investigation, the deputy saw that the truck was parked and its two occupants were rummaging through various nearby dumpsters. He also noticed that the parked truck was full of wooden pallets. Naturally, the deputy asked the driver of the truck to explain his presence and his suspicious behavior. Apparently startled, the driver announced that he and his neighbor were simply gathering pallets for their evening firewood.
The deputy then asked if the dumpster diver had permission to engage in their nocturnal foraging. This line of questioning stunned the suspect for a few seconds before he awkwardly admitted that he had no such permission. After learning that the pallets came from the garbage of the Georgia Spa Company, the deputy contacted the relevant business owner before letting the suspects leave. Since the two suspects were allowed to go on their way without any citations, it seems likely that no charges will be filed.
Though no arrests were made, these two pallet grabbers embarrassed themselves and took quite the risk. Under similar circumstances, people have ended up behind bars. Hopefully, these two suspects learned something about the dangers of engaging in suspicious behavior. Once again, active neighbors and fast-acting police authorities acted to make Barrow County a safer place. Since this region still faces economic challenges, many more may feel tempted to engage in trespassing and theft. This recent pallet incident proves that suspicious loitering and dumpster diving can quickly lead to involvement with the police. Far from harmless, illicit pallet thieves do their part to undermine the security of the community. It can only be hoped that these pallet thieves have learned good lessons from the heat and pressure of public exposure.