Neighbors fed up with convoy of illegal dumpers on Detroit's west side

In the past four months, the cars and trucks started bringing tree limbs, concrete, asphalt - just total garbage - to lot on Schaefer on Detroit's west side. They didn't even try to hide it. But neighbor say they've had enough.

Neighbors on Schaefer near W. Chicago say the dumpers have no shame, aren't hiding, and are dropping their trash right near their home. It started about four months ago and the dumpers have even used an 18-wheeler to drop it off.

Tony Brock has had enough.

"One day I was home and watching them do this. I came home from work the next day and there were two more piles and I came back from work the next day and there was another pile," Brock said. "Right next door. Family, kids, dogs. He doesn't live anywhere near the city, I know that."

He's not alone. Tiesha Blackwell said there's no fear from these illegal dumpers, and they're taking advantage of the city's situation.

"What it is, is that the people are comfortable with dumping because they know there's not gonna be any repercussions. They know there's not that many people watching. But we do have people watching in the neighborhood, like me, that still do care. So, if you're out there and it's you that's doing the dumping, we're gonna catch you," said Blackwell.

So, after calling us, we called police. Detroit Lt. Rebecca McKay said Wednesday morning that, immediately after the call, her team was working on it. McKay said she feels the same way the neighbors do and says dumpers can't escape justice for long.

"It's over. We're gonna catch you. The public knows, the citizens know. They know who to call. We jump right on it," said McKay. 

Police measure each pile to determine how much the fine could be. Depending on the size of the dumped refuge, it could be into the multiple thousands of dollars.

"Of the individuals we have caught, there have only been a couple that have been repeat offenders. Very small percentage of those individuals are repeat offenders. They understand the repercussions. They're loosing their vehicles, they're getting warrants issued against them, they're having to pay huge blight fines. It's no joke," McKay said. "It's not worth it."

The city says they'll be out Thursday morning to get it cleaned up.

Since October 2017, McKay says they've closed almost 80 percent of their dumping cases.