OAP's anger at bill for stolen bin

A FURIOUS pensioner had her wheelie bin stolen by thieves who are thought to have used it to carry their booty from another burglary – and now she must pay to replace it.

A FURIOUS pensioner had her wheelie bin stolen by thieves who are thought to have used it to carry their booty from another burglary - and now she must pay to replace it.

Gwen Dunn, 88, returned to her home in Hadleigh's High Street after a meeting on Wednesday night to find that her black bin, used for general waste, had been pilfered.

After reporting the crime to the police, Mrs Dunne got in touch with Babergh District Council - only to be told she would have to fork out at least £20 to replace it.

She said: “Before I went to the meeting I pulled the bin through the side gates, left it inside the gates and shut them. It was quite invisible from the road.


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“I came back at 9pm and the gate door was open and the bin was gone. I reported it to the police and then rang up the bin people.

“They told me that the rule is that you have to pay, however your bin disappears - it's your responsibility. I was told it's £20 for a second hand one and £40 for a new one.”

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A restaurant next door to Mrs Dunn was also burgled, with a safe among the items taken - it is believed the thieves used her bin to carry away their haul.

“When the police came round you could see they had climbed on my water butt onto a shrub and got into next door that way,” she said.

“The policeman said they got the safe down and put it in my wheelie bin. I'd like to get hold of the people that did this burglary and hit them really hard, but I can't do that.

“I also think it's terribly unfair that Babergh are treating a public service as if it was something that they sold to me and I wilfully lost.

“I don't really see why I should have to pay for a replacement. It's a shocking situation.”

Peter Garnett, Waste Development Officer at Babergh, said: “We are very sorry to learn of the incident involving Mrs Dunn's wheelie bin.

“While we sympathise with the circumstances of this case, it is Council policy that replacement bins have to be paid for at a cost of £20 for second hand or £30 for a new bin.

“During an average month we replace approximately 40 wheelie bins throughout the district. The charges made by Babergh District Council cover the cost of the bin and its delivery.

“In Mrs Dunn's case, we understand from the police that she has been given a crime number. This will enable Ms Dunn to claim back any costs incurred because of the robbery via her insurers.

“In the meantime, Cleanaway will collect Mrs Dunn's refuse in black sacks until such time as she has ordered her replacement wheelie bin.”

Anyone with information about the burglaries, which are thought to have both happened between 8pm and 9.30pm on Wednesday night, should call DC Elizabeth Winzer , of Suffolk police on 01473 613500.

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