D.C. is in the process of replacing residential garbage cans and recycling bins, but if you see any with a "Take Me" sticker, don't take the instruction literally.
If you happen to see a garbage can or recycling bin in D.C. with a "Take Me!" sticker on it, don't take the instruction literally — it could get you in trouble with the law.
Two people were arrested in Georgetown on April 21 after they were spotted putting D.C. recycling bins into a jeep. The duo, a man and a woman, managed to load 51 of the bins into their car before police arrested them and charged them with second-degree theft.
Unless you work for DPW, this message is not meant for you. (Photo by Laura Hansen Marks)
"[Police] observed D-1 walk stealthily down the sidewalk with a hood over his head to conceal his face collecting DPW recycling bins. D-2 drove up in a white jeep. D-1 then put the recycling bins into D-2's vehicle," states the arrest report.
Their initial defense focused on those "Take Me!" stickers: "D-1 stated that the 'Recycle Bins had a sticker that said take me.'"
The stickers are meant for the D.C. Department of Public Works, though, which is in the process of replacing garbage cans and recycling bins for all residents whose refuse is handled by the city. The department is slowly picking up old cans, and distributed "Take Me!" stickers for residents to place on the cans and bins they want removed.
According to DPW spokeswoman Linda Grant, every resident that has their trash and recycling picked up twice a week has received new bins, some 210,000 across the city.
A D.C. police official says that the two suspects, aged 27 and 30, were arrested but not charged. The report does not cite a motivation for the attempted theft.