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Man Caught Stealing Scrap Metal From a Dumpster

West Allis man was caught rooting around in a Dumpster when a Falls police officer drove by.

A 48-year-old West Allis man is facing charges after he was allegedly caught taking scrap metal from a Menomonee Falls Dumpster.

Brian S. Hofstetter was charged in Waukesha County Circuit Court Thursday with one count of theft. If convicted, he faces up to nine months in prison and $10,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

At 2:46 a.m. June 16, a Menomonee Falls police officer was on patrol near Carmen Avenue and Williams Place when he heard pipes banging together, then saw Hofstetter standing inside a Dumpster owned by a private business. Hofstetter told the officer he was collecting scrap metal to make some extra money.

His van was parked nearby with more metal inside, which Hofstetter said mostly came from a friend who got the items from an unknown place in Milwaukee.

He will make his initial appearance in court Sept. 17.

Johnny Paycheck August 31, 2012 at 05:51 PM
I had no idea that taking items out of somebody elses trash was illegal... The next time I see a homeless person picking scraps of food out of a restaurant dumpster I'm having them arrested!
Steve ® August 31, 2012 at 06:56 PM
It is not a normal dumpster, and either way it is illegal. Scrap metal is very valuable to a business, they are paid and it is a source of recoverable income.
Nuitari (Grand Master Editor) August 31, 2012 at 08:17 PM
Milwaukee citizen for sure.
Mike Knight September 01, 2012 at 02:24 AM
I wonder if they'd arrest the iconic old lady who fishes for cans in dumpsters, and garbage cans. I thought once it's thrown away it's fair game.
Brian September 01, 2012 at 01:31 PM
The metal is not being thrown away, Mike. See Steve's comment.
Steve ® September 01, 2012 at 10:11 PM
Already explained all of this above.
Repo October 07, 2012 at 03:38 PM
I have a small business in the Falls and there is more to it than just taking scrap metal,first or all the dumpster divers get hurt and then sue the owners or they often leave a huge mess as they try to get to the object they want.It became so bad we actually had to install security to watch the dumpsters. The Dumpster Divers are a very big problem and costs all of us too!

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