What to do when a dive goes wrong
Uhoh, the police showed up.
First, don’t panic. If you’ve already done your homework, you know it’s completely legal for you to be diving. Here’s what to do if you get “caught.”
1. Tell the truth! Police aren’t dumb. They know what you are doing. They know you aren’t actually looking for boxes. Tell the truth and they will be cool with you (usually).
2. Do what they say. If the officer asks you to leave, do it. Even if diving isn’t against the law, it is better not to argue. You can always go back later if you didn’t get to the good stuff in time.
I’ve had two encounters with the police. The first followed me to where I was about to dive. I was so nervous. I just knew that he was there to bust me. He wasn’t leaving and I didn’t want to get arrested. So did I leave? Of course not. I walked over to his car and asked him if he minded if I jumped in the dumpster. He looked at me like I was an idiot and told me to have at it.
The second time I was diving with a friend. It was the middle of the night and we were pulled up right next to the dumpster which happens to be right next to the back door. I’m sure we looked incredibly suspicious. We just told the officers we were rescuing food. He didn’t care, in fact, he wished us a good night. That simple.
I’ve been caught by an employee. What now?
I’ve only been caught once. I was knee deep in the dumpster when he came out of no where. Scared the crap out of me. Boy he was pissed. Even worse, my shoe kept coming off every time I tried to climb up and out. He was not amused. He told me if he caught me again he was calling the police.
If you made a mess, offer to clean it up before you go. I tried to clean up when I got caught, but he told me no. What he actually said was “I wouldn’t have to clean up if you hadn’t made this mess.”
You should probably stay away for a few days after being caught. But just because you’ve been caught doesn’t mean you can’t ever go back. Just give it a few days before you try again.
The dumpster is locked!
Now, legally, if a dumpster is locked, it means stay out. But, you usually can force a locked dumpster open without damaging it. I won’t tell you how… but it is possible. 🙂
Another thing to check is if it is actually locked. Many stores will throw a lock on there without actually securing it, or lock one side and not the other. It’s definitely a grey area here in terms of legality, but I will admit that I do it. If I can get it, I go for it. If the sides are locked but the top isn’t, you better believe I’m going in through the top.
Click here to learn about what you should expect as a diver.