Litterbugs beware, Union Co. deputies are watching - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Litterbugs beware, Union Co. deputies are watching

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Union County deputies are hiding cameras to catch litterbugs. (FIle/FOX Carolina 2014) Union County deputies are hiding cameras to catch litterbugs. (FIle/FOX Carolina 2014)
UNION, SC (FOX Carolina) -

In the most rural parts of Union County, in the middle of the night, in places you think no one is around, there could be deputy looking to bust your for littering.

Union County Sheriff David Taylor said illegal dump sites have become a problem, so he is  turning to technology to catch litterbugs in the act.

"Because we are so rural, people think they can pull up on the side of the road, dump their trash and not worry about it," Taylor said.

Thanks to a grant from Palmetto Pride, Taylor's department now has an arsenal of camouflaged "groundhog" cameras that take high-definition pictures even at night.

Deputy Scott Coffer is tasked with enforcing the county's litter laws and with deploying the cameras.

"They have motion sensors," Coffer said. "We angle them to areas where we have had problems."

Coffer said he is constantly moving the cameras and placing them where they are difficult to spot.

"It's like an extra set of eyes for us, and the footage is hard evidence for court," Coffer said.

Coffer said since the cameras have been in place more litterbugs are being caught.

In 2013, the sheriff's office issued 15 citations for littering. So far in 2014, 21 citations have been issued, putting the department on pace for 81 for the year.

Coffer said the fines for littering range from $400 to $1,000. But, he said, he often gives offenders the chance to clean up their mess and avoid the fine.

Taylor said while the location of the cameras will remain secret, he does want litterbugs to know they are out there, and to "smile," because you may be on camera.

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