Reporter on Newport Beach Trash-Scavenger-Law Beat Gets Punked on Live Television

A TV reporter just got punked on live television from Newport Beach.

At 8:05 a.m., Dave Mecham stood in front of homes on Balboa, where it is trash day, for his story on the city's new scavenger law that can send poachers to jail.

After video depicting Santa Ana's use of locks on residential trash cans, Mecham came back live to two "ladies" from Balboa for their reaction.

That's when his troubles began.

"What kind of challenge has it been having homeless people and other folks going through your trash?" Mecham asked as he stuck his microphone under the chin of a brunette in a ponytail.

She stuck her head down as if to speak, but remained completely silent.

How OCC students afford rising fees and textbook costs.
"Okay, you're a . . . you're a . . . at a loss for words," Mecham said as he moved the microphone over to the now-laughing blonde. The brunette then busted up and ducked out of the shot for a second.

"And you will join me right now and help me, two roommates from Orange Coast College, you agreed to talk about this," Mecham said as if holding a court order. "Has it been a problem in the past?"

"It hasn't been a problem as much as--" the blonde began to answer before her friend cut in.

"I think we're more of the problem," the brunette said as KTLA's "Trash Troubles" graphic rolled under her. "We're the people that you arrest."

"We're the people that find things in the trash that we like; I mean, people do throw some good stuff away," the blonde explained like an OCC improv student. "I do believe the name they call it is 'dumpster diving.'"

"Yes, that is now against the law. They can cite you and arrest you and take you to jail in Newport for that," said Mecham as the women looked at each other in mock horror. "That's about a week old. Before, it was just a citation. So, yeah, going into the pokey if you get in trouble doing that."

One would assume at this point someone in the KTLA control booth would cut back to the news set and save this poor sap. Instead, they let him dangle.

"What do you think of that?" Mecham asked the pranksters, as if they truly do put their pedis at risk by dumpster diving.

"That'd be the third time I went to jail," the brunette answered with a straight face as her friend did an air spittake.

"Okay, ladies, thank you very much for your time this morning," Mecham said as he moved away from them, so only he would be in the shot. "Get off to school, right?"

"Off to school we go!" sang the blonde as the pair hopped away.

"Getting back to some of these images that we have seen," Mecham said, "the challenge has been people going through some of the trash, getting into stuff other than trash. The ID theft has been a problem. The things disappearing from around these properties. So that's really what this is driven by, and now a law now new in Newport Beach, and Costa Mesa looking at the same. And locks on canisters, if you will, another consideration by this city, already in effect in Santa Ana.

"That's the latest from Balboa," Mecham, nearly panting as he wrapped up. "We'll send it back to you in Hollywood."

After some chuckling from the anchor desk, a beaming Michaela Pereira said, "Dave, I think really the challenge there was getting an answer out of those two ladies."

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We have to endure the garbage-pickers in San Diego on a daily and nightly basis. Some nights every two hours we wake to hear the clanking, smashing, breaking, dropping and stomping. Recently, during the day I saw a van pull up and park. I could see the inside of the van was loaded with bikes. The driver got out, walked past the dumpsters and searched the area ouside of my neighbors apartment complex. Another night I saw one bum and yes he is a bum, roll up on his bike. He leaned the bike against the fence looked around, went up to a dumpster, looked around again and then walked up to my neighbors first-floor window and started peeping. By the time I had come outside he had moved down the alley, parked once again and started casing my neighbor's cars. When he suddenly saw me he went into panic mode and moved on.. I have MANY other stories. Beyond the fact these people are trespassing, they are repeatedly waking people up,, littering, stealing private possessions and relieving themselves wherever and whenever. And many of these so-called poor people drive some very nice trucks. My bleedind heart neighbors got mad because some of us were locking the dumpsters. Their bedrooms don't face the alley so their only inconvenience is unlocking the combo on the lock. When I asked my neighbors if every time the garbage pickers woke me up I walked over and woke them up, none of them ahd a word. It was if I asked them a question in Swahili. The recession is lessening every day. If one needs work they can call a temp agency. I know because I worked for the temp agencies in the past. I like the scavenger law and I do recycle.


The trash company in Newport sorts and recycles the trash. The revenue from the recyclables offsets the trash cost for residents. For examples, my water and trash bill for a 1700 sf home is 65 dollars every other month or nearly half that of my friends in stuccoland.

It's nothing more than smart residents and city officials protecting their interests and their property.


Trash digging ordinances, quite frankly, are blatant attempts to criminalize poverty and homelessness under the guise of preventing identity theft. It seems some folks would rather see perfectly usable things end up in landfills than allow someone to retrieve them out of the trash bin and re-use them. Funny how so many pay lip service to recycling and re-using to save the environment but think it should be a CRIME to dig in the trash!


I do not find the womans' glutimus maximus at all attractive, to me she looks like she is about 5'4" and would weigh in at about 140 Lbs... To me a wide load!

But I do give her kudos for keeping her knees together in ladylike fashion. Not an easy feat diving in a dumpster!


I wish she would of been wearing sum super short shorts or a white underwear, hehehe


One more thing.... nice ass on the model in that picture BTW.


Channel 5 KTLA has the worst record when it comes for "man on the street" interviews. They constantly pick people with nothing to say... nothing to add to the story.


oops I must have clicked the post icon twice, at least we can edit now!

Dammit, I spent about 30 minutes typing a reply, and saw it posted twice, when I erased the second comment, it erased the original. So I will try to do it again:

So it is illegal to salvage recyclables from trash in Zooport now? Of course... they do not want "poor people" there. They are eyesores. So who is allowed to profit from the CRV rip off we pay for every drink we buy? The drink manufacturers and Waste Management, a big Nationwide Corporation! No way do we allow people that have used up Unemployment Benefits, or others that are less fortunate. I am not talking about the people standing on street corners with cardboard signs saying, "will work for food" or "Homeless, Please Help, God Bless" or the people wandering around parking lots asking, "My car is out of gas, can you help me so I can get home to LA?" or the lil old lady saying, "I lost my purse, can you help me get bus fare so I can catch a bus home?" (I gave one an all day bus pass the first time I saw her, I have seen her 3 times since, she must be senile as she apparently did not remember me and tried the same pitch again). Occasionally I get annoyed at such scams. But people digging in trash cans late at night or early in the morning are usually Mentally Ill with no health care, or just flat broke, and seldom beg for help from passers by. They scratch a meager survival by Recycling, I guess Waste Management Corporation needs the CRV money more than the REAL Homeless do. In the future I will be careful to separate my recyclables, and give them to those with the shopping carts filled with cans.


Bullshit! it does nothing to offset service charges... your service will be the same no matter how much they make from recycling.


Now you're just hurting someone's feelings.

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