ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad police have registered several cases regarding the theft of garbage bins on complaints of the Capital Development Authority after more than 60 dumpsters were stolen by thieves in urban areas of the federal capital.

“More than 60 garbage bins and trolleys kept in various streets…have been taken away by thieves in a month,” CDA Sanitation Director Malik Atta revealed. He added the CDA lodged separate cases at Aabpara, Ramna, Shahzad Town, and Sabzi Mandi police stations over the theft. Initial investigation revealed that these bins were stolen during the period from dusk to dawn.

The investigation was conducted with the assistance of the sanitary inspectors, who mounted vigilance and spotted a group of four stealing bins and trolleys in a mini truck, Mr Atta said, adding the stolen containers were being sold at a junkyard in G-12.

The sanitation staff assisted the police in identifying the place where the dumpsters were stashed and cut into pieces, he said, adding that now it was up to the police to trace and identify those who sold the stolen items.

CDA lodges several cases with police; stolen items ‘being sold at junkyards’

The sanitation department also approached officers of the capital police and Safe City Islamabad to curb the theft of garbage dumpsters. A few meetings were held and complaints over the issue were also lodged, Mr Atta said, adding that help was sought against the criminals.

The Safe City has footage of the thefts, the director said, adding that the registration number of the vehicle in which the stolen material was being transported, however, was indecipherable.

Mr Atta said there were about 30,000 trash cans in the capital but the recent thefts have led to their shortage in the city. A sector has about 40-100 bins as per their need.

Dumpsters theft spree

One of the cases was registered at Shahzad Town police station on September 13 on charges of Section 379 in response to a complaint lodged by Sanitary Inspector Arshad Mehmood. According to the FIR, over 60 steel and galvanized garbage drums, worth up to Rs6 million were stolen from across the capital during the past month.

A preliminary report submitted by the CDA to respective police stations, the FIR said, adding that two dumpsters were stolen in August in Rawal Town and Dhokri Chowk. Sanitary Inspector Arshad Mehmood said that the garbage bins were also stolen in the G-11, G-8, and F-11 sectors.

According to Mr Mehmood, the theft of garbage bins and trolleys occurred after 6pm. The CDA official said a steel bin/trolley costs more than Rs150,000 whereas the price of a garbage drum is Rs80,000 to Rs100,000. These stolen items are dumped in junkyards where they are cut into pieces and sold as steel sheets, he added. A junkyard dealer operating in Golra was arrested after stolen items were recovered from the site. However, the Golra police when contacted denied arresting anyone.

Another case was registered at the Sabzi Mandi police station on September 14 on the same charges. The complaint was lodged by Sanitary Inspector Salim Massih, saying a garbage drum was stolen from Railway Road near Tehsil Office.

Likewise, Sanitary Inspector Kalimullah also got registered a case at the Ramna police station on charges of Section 379 and Section 427 on September 6. According to the FIR, 15 steel drums had been stolen in G-11 since August 9, which were worth at least Rs1,000,000.

In a hunt for thieves, the sanitation department searched junkyards located in G-11, Meharbadi, and G-13 and its adjacent areas. During the search, the stolen drums were found in junkyards in G-12 and G-13. An investigation revealed that a group of four men was behind the theft.

Another case was registered at Aabpara police station on September 7 under Section 379 in response to a complaint lodged by Mohammad Wasim. According to the FIR, two garbage trolleys worth Rs200,000 were stolen from Embassy Road, G-6/4.

Published in Dawn, September 17th, 2023

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