You know something is wrong when you find a high quality holdall chucked in the reedbeds – with a lap top and empty jewellery box inside. I called the police, explaining that I was an Ambassador for Keep Britain Tidy who had be registered as a litter picker.
I apologise if you find this distressing. It is distressing. Heartbreaking. I only hope the thief was eventually caught and can appreciate his wrong doing.
This iphone was found further down the river, as part of a separate haul.
Having been chucked in the reedbeds there was no DNA for the police to find.
The stolen laptops and phones were obviously password protected and of no use to the burglar. They could have been left somewhere dry for their owner to reclaim – such as a bus shelter but, no. Instead this jewelry box was chucked in a ditch, easily seen from from the tar road but soon ruined by falling rain.
Why was this open penknife chucked out of a vehicle on a bend coming out of town?
We may have had just one thief who repetitively used the local river as a dump for unwanted stolen items. I would have reported a weapon to the police but by the time I found this, I had spent too much of my life waiting on the 911 line.
This handbag had been stolen some time ago from the owner’s car parked about ten minutes’ drive away. A family of mice had made a warm dry nest in the interior. There were three pairs of spectacles inside but not the necklace that she valued.
I’m always finding abandoned pub glasses, which technically have been stolen from local pubs. I returned this and a few others but glasses can turn up in the middle of nowhere.
I’m told that unopened chocolate bars, cans of larger and half consumed bottles of vodka will probably have been stolen. They lack value to the person who abandoned them – who obviously didn’t want to be caught red-handed.
I once found a brand new – and boxed – microwave oven tucked into the bushes at this location, a quiet spot where you can park:
I once found a single, leather, horse riding chap on a bridge, deciding that it must have fallen off a trailer. It turned out to be part of a haul of riding equipment worth thousands that had been stolen the night before. I contacted the owner but she was distraught and couldn’t use one, single legging.
To see other unexpected items I find litter picking, please click here
15 thoughts on “Diary of a Litter Picker: Finding Stolen items”
All this really is distressing, as you say. To have your possessions stolen is bad enough in itself; to have them just abandoned to the elements as unwanted is more than unforgivable.
Rivers are still regarded as dumping grounds. Why is this? Out of sight, out of mind?
I think that must be it. To say ‘it’s such a shame’ seems so inadequate. It’s sheer thoughtlessness with a ‘don’t care’ attitude.
Is it driven by instinct?
That’s an interesting question. I think it could very well be instinctive.
I’m sure that chucking things out gives people a sense of release that can become addictive.
I am sure that is true.
Years ago we often used to find handbags stolen from parked cars on Dartmoor.
…discarded by one habitual thief or many?
It seems likely that it was a small number of people who preyed on anyone who parked a car. They were well known to the police.
So sad. Such a nightmare for the victims. And the police.
A few years ago in the centre of York on a architectural dig where they had put up wooden fencing they recovered purses from one area , hundreds of years old, unable to explain why till on one Monday the same area had some stolen purses taken at the weekend and flung over the fence, people don’t change much over a few hundred years just the landscape
Amazing. I haven’t studied criminology but it seems habitual thieves receptively dump unwanted items in the same place. Why?
Thank you for giving these belongings a respectful send off. Such a thoughtful reflection. You’ve sent me off on a rabbit trail of punnets and pottles, for which I thank you 😊
Thank you for taking the time to write in. I exhausted myself litter picking today but was spurred on by encouraging well wishers.