Someone’s been chucking used coffee cups in this couple’s yard for three years

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Lillian Stone
·2 min read
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Pile of used coffee cups on the ground
Pile of used coffee cups on the ground

What’s the pettiest thing you’ve ever done? I once slapped a girl in the lower back because she wouldn’t let me borrow her copy of *NSYNC: The Official Book in, oh, 2002. A few years later, I pulled up in my busted Nissan Maxima and threw some dirty fast food napkins into an ex-boyfriend’s front yard to punish him for general malfeasance. Immature, yes—but I was 16, and that was a one-time thing. Now imagine being 76 years old and going out of your way to toss used coffee cups into a former coworker’s front yard.

That’s exactly what happened in upstate New York, where one couple may have finally figured out who’s been tossing used coffee cups in their front yard for nearly three years. Edward and Cheryl Patton told The Buffalo News that they’ve collected nearly every single coffee cup and tried a number of strategies to catch the culprit, including mounting a camera to a tree. Nothing worked—until a few neighbors saw the litterer cruise by in a minivan.

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The neighbors jotted down the van’s license plate number, which Edward passed on to the cops. Cops then pulled the van over and discovered that it was driven by 76-year-old Larry Pope, a former coworker of Cheryl’s. Cheryl told the News that she and Pope disagreed over “union issues.” (Depending on which side Cheryl was on, she... she might’ve had it coming.) Anyway, Pope was charged with harassment and ticketed for throwing refuse onto a roadway. “I found it very hard to believe that someone I knew would do something like that, especially at his age,” Cheryl Patton told the News. The littering has stopped, which means the Pattons just have to figure out how to use all those coffee cups. Elaborate trash castle, please!