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Cops: Man trapped in clothing donation bin was stealing

Police booking photograph of Edgar Dubon, 24 an

Police booking photograph of Edgar Dubon, 24 an Amityville man was arrested after he climbed into a used clothing bin in Darien, CT, got stuck and had to call police. Credit: Darien Police Handout

An Amityville man who called 911 for rescue after becoming stuck in a donated clothing bin in Connecticut was trying to steal clothing, police said. Officers in Darien helped free Edgard Dubon and then arrested him.

Before he made his 3:35 a.m. cellphone call last Wednesday, police said, Dubon, 24, tried to reach the Great Neck company that owns the bin. When no one answered, police said, he left a message, saying he was stuck and needed help getting out.

Officers responding to the Goodwives Shopping Center in Darien found Dubon wedged in the bin opening normally used to deposit donated clothes. They also saw "numerous clothing items" outside the bin.

Unable to pull him out, they called Darien EMS and firefighters, who used bolt cutters to open the bin and free Dubon.

Dubon, who was not injured, was charged with trespass, larceny and criminal mischief, all misdemeanors. Connecticut authorities were holding him Tuesday in lieu of a $1,000 bond. His next scheduled court appearance is Aug. 23.

The website Darien Patch reported the story earlier this week. It was not clear what Dubon was doing in Connecticut, but police said he had a Long Island address.

Police identified the company that owns the bin as American Recycling Technologies and said the company's owner told them it had suffered numerous thefts of clothing in recent years from tri-state area bins. As a result, the company installed new bins designed to trap thieves.

The Connecticut attorney general sued American Recycling in 2004, accusing it of misleading donors who thought they were making a charitable donation, when it sold the clothing at a profit, paying a small stipend to the charities listed on its bins.

In 2009, according to the New Haven Register, American Recycling paid a $50,000 fine in the case, but president Bruce Binler denied his company had misled anyone.

A 1998 Newsday story on clothing bin thefts depicted an industry for donated American clothes worth hundreds of millions of dollars worldwide. "If we don't collect" the used clothing, Binler told Newsday, "it simply goes into the waste stream."

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