A nightly crime spree is occurring in the unincorporated town of Anza. The Riverside County Anza Transfer Station said the chain link fence was cut with bolt cutters and people have allegedly been entering, sometimes before the sun sets and the workers leave for the day.
The facility has dealt with theft in the past, but the county said the damages have been escalating in recent months.
Known as the dump, the transfer station is where residents in the unincorporated Anza Valley can dispose of their trash. Run by CR&R and the Riverside County Department of Waste Resources, the dump is designed to take household and residential refuse. The trash is collected, stored and transported to the landfill at Lamb Canyon, hence the term “transfer station.”
Theft and vandalism at the dump is escalating, according to transfer station staff, causing damage and a mess for employees to clean up every morning. Staff said trash is found thrown all over the area and removed from the dumpsters and roll-off containers.
The items the alleged thieves are searching for are saleable undamaged items, tools and recyclable materials. Although scrap metal prices are at historic lows, copper, brass, electrical wiring, electric motors, aluminum and stainless steel can be sold to recycling centers.
The trash is the property of CR&R, which profits from selling the recyclables. The transfer station staff said the thefts cause a waste of man hours, as the employees who run the transfer station have to clean up the mess and mend the holes in the fences daily. The fencing surrounding the station has been damaged almost nightly, they said. Fuel and batteries for station equipment have also been stolen and the machines vandalized.
According to staff, the thieves leave on foot or get picked up, carry items or making piles in the bushes to be picked up later. Quads and dirt bikes are also allegedly used to carry loot. Evidence of trucks being used to rip down the fences and drag items from the area was found, transfer station staff said.
The Riverside County sheriff’s department asked residents to be on the lookout for people acting suspiciously in that area and to report incidents to law enforcement.
Diane Sieker can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.