Illegal dumper caught on camera in KC neighborhood leads to felony arrest

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A man caught on camera dumping trash illegally in one neighborhood is now behind bars facing more serious felony charges of burglary, stealing and auto theft.

Investigators say one bag of trash sometimes leads them to more serious crimes.

Montgall Avenue in the Washington Wheatley neighborhood has been a trouble spot for illegal dumping. That's why the city has surveillance cameras installed. Last month, cameras at two different locations captured the same truck and the same man unloading garbage on the street.

The images showed a clear picture of the truck license plate, and investigators quickly learned that the registered owner had outstanding warrants for burglary, two counts of theft, auto theft, and stealing a live fish for commercial sale.

Within a couple of hours police found their man, Derrick Martin, and took him into custody.

He's now in prison, where the citations he received for illegal dumping may be the least of his problems.

"It led to a felony arrest," said Greg Smith, police community interaction officer at East Patrol. "That broken window theory with illegal dumping and abandoned housing, it just causes more blight to the area. Washington Wheatley, this is the neighborhood where the person was dumping. And we work really hard with this neighborhood."

Investigators learned that Martin was going around to neighbors, offering to haul away their trash for money. While he was making a quick buck, neighbors were upset to later find the garbage dumped illegally in secluded places, just a few blocks away.

Both police and city investigators said if you are going to pay someone to get rid of your trash, make sure they do it legally.

This is a problem in the urban core, with more people trying to make money this way. Don't pay them until they show you a receipt from the dump.

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