Petaluma Police Crack Down on Illegal Dumping of Trash and Furniture

Petaluma Police made two arrests for illegal dumping this week.

Editor's Note: Petaluma Police Department released the following report.

In the last several months, officers from the Petaluma Police Department have been conducting extra patrols at City parks to improve safety and reduce crime. One common problem reported by citizens and observed by officers was the issue if illegal dumping of trash and old furniture. 

At 10:15 a.m., Saturday, an officer on patrol discovered a couch and bags of household trash dumped at Prince Park on East Washington Street. In addition to calling a Public Works crew to clean up the debris, the officer took the initiative to look through the trash for any leads that may result in a long term solution to the problem. His efforts paid off when he discovered mail that belonged to Walter McIlvain with a Petaluma address. What was even more interesting was the mail was from the County of Mendocino for a warrant that had been issued for McIlvain. The investigation resulted in his arrest for the warrant and the discovery that his son was actually responsible for the illegal dumping. He went to county jail and his son spent the day cleaning up the park. 

Then on Wednesday, at 6:45 a.m., officers were conducting surveillance at Wickersham Park in response to months of complaints from residents around the park and the surrounding area who have been discovering yellow bags of trash dumped weekly and sometimes daily. Officers learned from the residents that the suspect was routinely dumping the garbage between 5 and 7 a.m. Last week, officers conducted surveillance and were not able to identify a suspect. On Wednesday morning, officers observed Floriberto Ojeda driving on G Street next to the park when a yellow garbage bag was thrown out of the passenger window across from the park. Officers waiting in the area stopped Ojeda and learned that he was driving without a license and was on probation for driving without a license. Ojeda admitted to the illegal dumping. He was arrested for illegal dumping, driving without a license, and a violation of probation. His vehicle has been impounded for 30 days. His bail was set at $2,000. 

Officers also learned that a possible motive for Ojeda’s illegal dumping was the fact that he did not have required garbage service at his home on Sixth Street, which was cancelled in June of 2012. 

Illegal dumping continues to be a serious problem in Petaluma. Penalties for illegal dumping include county jail and fines up to $1,000. Residents who observe illegal dumping are encouraged to report the crime to the Petaluma Police Department. 
lanieburk February 14, 2014 at 12:31 PM
Way to go officers!! Great job and happy valentine day!💝💝💝
Wire February 14, 2014 at 01:52 PM
I Have a DREAM ACT person?
Max February 15, 2014 at 07:50 PM
The fast food restaurants and businesses like Target should be cited also, for allowing their wrappers, plastic bags, abandoned shopping carts, etc to liter our neighborhood.
Sam February 15, 2014 at 08:03 PM
Max, How does Target have any blame if someone like you walk away with a cart ?. Some people have something to say and others have to say something.
Max February 22, 2014 at 08:10 PM
Sam, some people see the big picture- and some people only see the small picture. Obviously, you are the latter of the two.


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