by Sam Levin
It's like Dumpster diving...only this rummaging through trash can apparently land you in jail.
The St. Louis circuit attorney's office announced yesterday that Victoria Gibbs and Ladale Lewis have both pleaded guilty to stealing hundreds of metal "Dumpster hooks" from the city.
Why? Dumpster hooks -- which are small metal parts -- are apparently valuable!
The city, however, also may notice if you take them. Especially if you snag them from 30 different locations across the city as these two did.
The office of Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce says in an announcement of the guilty pleas:
You've heard the saying 'one man's trash is another man's treasure'. While most of us wouldn't give dumpster hooks a second glance, Victoria Gibbs and Ladale Lewis saw them as a way to make quick money. Unfortunately for them, those dumpster hooks belonged to the taxpayers via the City of St. Louis.
They reportedly stole around 270 metal dumpster hooks and would sell them for scrap and keep the cash.
The value of the stolen hooks was $11,475, Joyce's office says. And only a fraction of them were recovered, "leaving the taxpayers to foot the bill to replace the remaining $9,945."
How were they finally caught?
When they made yet another trip to the scrap yard "with stolen hooks in hand," the circuit attorney says.
They both pleaded guilty to felony stealing. Lewis, "a repeat offender," was sentenced to six years in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Gibbs has a sentencing hearing on May 23 and Joyce's office says it is recommending 120 days in prison followed by probation.