Woman confronts fly-tippers dumping rubbish then takes their van keys

Emily Cleary
·3-min read

A quick-thinking woman confronted three fly-tippers as they dumped building waste at a beauty spot, and took their keys to hamper their escape.

The men were caught red-handed emptying debris and building material from their lorry down a quiet country lane.

They were spotted by a nearby resident while she was putting her chickens away.

Ella, 29, who did not want to give her surname, said she "ran through them" filming and taking pictures and said the men were so shocked they didn't know what to do.

Fly-tipping builders were caught red-handed by a quick-thinking woman who took their keys to prevent their escape (swns)
Fly-tipping builders were caught red-handed by a quick-thinking woman who took their keys to prevent their escape (swns)

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She said: “I was just shutting my chickens away when I could hear a commotion and gravel being poured away. I thought no one on the estate would be working 7pm at night?

“I ran round and saw them tipping everything out, so I got my phone out and ran up and started filming them and their faces.

“There was all this rubbish everywhere - they must have unhitched the trailer to use the van to tip out all the rubbish. I then grabbed their car keys which seem like a sensible thing to do at the time.

“It was a bit stupid – one girl and three guys.

“We get so much rubbish dumped there because it’s quick access off the motorway. We get all sorts - random washing machines, all sorts of stuff.”

Police have said it is unlikely the men will face prosecution (swns)
Police have said it is unlikely the men will face prosecution (swns)

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Ella called her boyfriend, who quickly arrived on the scene at the Ugbrooke estate in Devon with some of his friends. The police were also called and arrived a short time later.

She spoke to the men who were leaving the items, who insisted they had tried to dump the waste at a local tip only to find it was closed.

They said they planned to return the following day and collect the rubbish again.

Building material was being dumped by the roadside (swns)
Building material was being dumped by the roadside (swns)

Despite being on her own, Ella said she was determined to capture the incident on camera as fly-tipping had become such a big problem in the area.

She added: “My grandad was a policeman so I think I must take after him. I wasn’t worried at the time – I was so mad I didn’t think.

“When I look back, I was lucky as they were fiery and didn’t do anything to me.

“They were completely shocked – I just ran through them and filmed them all and they didn’t know what to do.

Quick-thinking Ella filmed the culprits on her mobile phone (swns)
Quick-thinking Ella filmed the culprits on her mobile phone (swns)

“They weren’t nasty - they were apologetic. They were picking it all up as soon as they saw me.”

Police told Ella it’s unlikely the men would face prosecution – despite being caught red handed on camera.

“The police told me its highly likely it won’t get to court,” she added.

“They were saying in the eyes of the law – a policeman has to see them actually doing the offence. They can just say they were just picking up the rubbish.

“But you think I’ve basically caught them red handed it doesn’t make sense.

“I said I’ve got it on film – it’s annoying because I can see its not going to get far without getting the ball rolling myself.”

Yahoo News UK contacted Devon and Cornwall Police for information but had not received a response at the time of publishing.

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