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Business owner worried dumpster divers are liability

2 months 2 weeks 2 days ago Monday, April 11 2022 Apr 11, 2022 April 11, 2022 9:40 PM April 11, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - It's a strange problem for a business owner. Dumpster diving is getting out of control and now there's the worry that the trash bin is attracting some dangerous attention.

Stacey Blanchard owns Lagniappe Frame Shoppe, a frame shop and art gallery, off Jefferson Highway in Baton Rouge. She started the business over 40 years ago with her mom and has been in the current location for 12 years.

Like many business owners, she's mindful of her property and what goes on.

Even so, she says her dumpster has attracted unwanted attention and she's not sure what else to do. Blanchard has installed cameras and can even talk through the one overlooking the dumpster. It also makes a loud chirping noise anytime someone comes near. Three weeks ago she had Republic Services swap out her dumpster with one that has a padlock. It's something she had to pay for.

"But it doesn't seem to matter," she said. "They're breaking into it no matter what."

Blanchard doesn't know why it's happening. There's no food in the dumpster, it's full of paper products, discarded frames, and glass. Yet it's happening repeatedly.

"They're pulling on the handle trying to bust it open and then they'll close it back so it looks like they hadn't been here," she said.

Two weeks ago Blanchard says there was a man in the dumpster. When she asked him what he was doing he told her he had dropped his keys in there. She said later that the same person came back and cut the cable to the lock.

She had to call Republic Services to bring her a new dumpster. The activity on her property worries her, especially if someone gets hurt.

"I'm concerned about the liability more than anything," she said.

Blanchard isn't sure where else to turn and hopes other businesses are aware of what's happening on their properties.

She has contacted the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office to file a report.

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