Dumpster Diving: An Investigator’s Tool
Dumpster Diving, Refuse/Trash Removal, Trash Run, or my favorite which is Refuse Archeology are all terms that equate to the clandestine removal of curbside. Sifting through trash is a low-tech method for obtaining intelligence; nonetheless, it is highly effective.
Businesses run by private investigators specializing in dumpster diving have emerged as a result of the need for discreet and undetected retrieval of documents and other forms of evidence for civil and criminal proceedings.
Private investigators are allowed to get creative when it comes to uncovering information. Let’s be honest, this is not the most glamorous part of a private investigator’s job.
Sifting through trash (a.k.a. dumpster diving) can turn up game-changing information. For example: credit card receipts, phone records, bank statements, photographs, letters, restaurant receipts, alias names and other materials potentially obtained from trash receptacles may be just what an investigator needs to solidify a case.
Clients often inquire if trash collection is legal and the answer, especially in California is a resounding, “Yes.” The Federal case law that came down in favor of this is California v. Greenwood, 486 U.S. (1988.)
Private Investigators should still be careful. There are laws to be followed not only in California, but in every state. For example, it is legal if the trash container is on public property. As soon as the owner places their containers on the street for the trash collector, we can legally delve into it because it’s been removed from private property to a public area (curb/ street).
Why assign a trash run to an amateur? SBI’s operatives are experts in the art of clandestine trash removal. One trash collection is a flat fee rate which includes displacement, investigative report, travel time and mileage. Please call or email us today to discuss your case and get a free estimate.
Sunset Blvd. Investigations, Inc. is always watching out for you!
Disclaimer: This blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this blog should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. We strongly recommend that people contact an attorney for legal advice relative to this specific area of expertise in the law.
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