PLA Issue #4: Dumpster Diving & Looting Bell Trucks

Dumpster Diving & Looting Bell Trucks
Written by RedBoxChiliPepper on July 23, 1993. Last Revision on July 12, 1994

While it may not seem very appealing to go digging around in grimey dumpsters,
it actually gets some really great results if you know what to look for. In
the past I’ve gotten phone company “how-to” manuals, newsletters, credit card
receipts, obsecure phone numbers, a whole shitload of phone company personell
records, and other useful items.

So next time you’re bored at night, all the bbses are busy and you have
nothing better to do, get some old clothes on, grab a flashlight, sneak out of
the house and head for the nearest dumpster. You may be happy with what you
find. Here’s some basic information that I feel would be important for the
novice trasher:

Checklist of What To Bring

  • Old jeans, old shirt, old shoes, preferably all dark.
  • A flashlight or lighter.
  • Small gym bag to put items in.

Checklist of What NOT To Bring

  • Your mother or father.
    (Or any family member)
  • Your laptop computer
  • A gun and/or ski mask
  • A cactus

What To Look For

Start from one side of the dumpster and kind of work your way over to the
other side looking at everything you encounter and for pete’s sake, don’t
throw the stuff you don’t want out of the dumpster as that might look
suspicious if a cop drove by.

Keep your bag by you and try not to bury it in the rubbish. If you’re in a
phone company dumpster, you usually don’t have to worry about stepping in
anything disgusting since their dumpsters seem to only have paper in them.
Look for anything that appeals to you– pieces of paper with phone numbers or
passwords written on them, receipts (especially for credit cards), company
records, phone bills, anything that you think you shouldn’t have, take it

Where To Trash

Trashing can be done just about anywhere and the rewards vary wherever you go.
In some places such as phone company dumpsters, look out for surveilence
cameras. If they see you in the dumpster they’ll call the cops on you.

  • Video Stores (Get account information to check out videos with other
    people’s accounts. Also maybe a computer dialup number.)
  • Conveinence Stores (Every few months most of them throw away huge boxes
    of credit card receipts.)
  • Cellular Dealerships (Lodes of information.)
  • Phone Company Buildings (Endless possibilities.)
  • Residents (By stealing your neighbor’s trash you can learn a lot about
    them. Handy for blackmail purposes and ruining lives.)
  • Coffee Shops (FREE coffee grinds and wet paper!!!)

What If…

If a cop somehow sees you in there and asks you to explain yourself, tell him
you’re looking for alluminum cans or other recycleable material. If you live
in a more populated area and look scroungy enough, tell him you’re homeless
and looking for food. That way you won’t have to give any I.D. either. One
thing I’ve done a few times is bring a small trash bag of crushed soda cans
with me to back up my story of looking for aluminum cans.

If you’re happily looking through a bunch of secret stuff and the garbage

truck shows up and starts lifting the dumpster in the air, you’re basically
fucked. You’ll land in the back of his truck and probably be crushed to death
and nobody will ever find your body. This has never happened to me yet, but
I’ve always been paranoid that it would.


Bring a friend and a couple of 2-way radios. Have the friend sit somewhere
out of sight and if a cop or anyone comes near the dumpster, he can radio you
to sit tight and shut up until their gone.

It probably wouldn’t be a good idea to go trashing in the middle of the day.
For one thing, employees are constantly comming out to throw trash in the
dumpster and that could get pretty messy for you. Also, you’re more likely to
be seen in the daytime. So stick to nights and you should do okay.

Phone companies usually lock their dumpsters. (Go figure) Sometimes it’s
merely a chain and lock over the top of the dumpster which does no good since
you can just jump on the plastic lid and fall right into the dumpster.
(Getting out is another story.) If you get caught by the wrong cop, he can
take you in and you could get charged with trespassing so be careful and don’t
get caught.

“Sorry, sir, we were just trying to find some wire for our
science fair project, but as there appears to be nothing
here but coffee grounds and cigarette ashes, we had better
get going. Have a nice day!” -Karl Marx

Bell Truck Looting

As common as Bell truck looting is, you’d think that they’d have the sense to
lock their trucks, especially at night time but they always seem to leave at
least one of their compartments open. By looting Bell & GTE trucks, you can
obtain all kinds of neat stuff like Bell hard hats, tool belts, lineman hand
sets, lots of useless documents and all kinds of cool Bell devices that you
have abolutely no use for. It’s just cool to “own” Bell stuff, ya know?

You can either loot a truck at night when all the trucks are parked for the
night or you can do it in the middle of the day while a truck is parked some-
where while the Bell dude is inside someplace doing some work.

Ordering A Bell Truck Yourself

An interesting idea by Zak was to call in some kind of fake order for a
business and wait around for the Bell truck to show up. When the truck got
there and the guy went inside, it’s yours!

Call up the Bell repair center or billing office and arrange for them to come
to a business of your choice. Try and get a specific time for them to be there
(like between 12 noon and 3pm) so you don’t have to wait for them all day from
9am to 5pm. Write down when they’ll be there.

Now call up the business you ordered repair for and tell them that a Bell
representative will be stopping by tomorrow at (whenever) to check out the
lines. Hang around the business until your truck gets there and when he does,
have a friend go inside and wander around, keeping an eye on the Bell guy
while keeping in touch with you on a 2-way radio so he can warn you if he’s
comming out. Meanwhile, you’ll be looting the truck.

Night Time Looting

Looting a truck at night is probably the most common. Find the Bell building,
go there at night and start checking the trucks for unlocked compartments.
Like I said, there’s always a few of them open. Ask Zak, he knows. It’d
probably be a good idea to carry your handy police scanner with you so you’ll
know if someone spots you and calls the police.

In some of the bigger cities the Bell buildings have night rent-a-cops, so
watch out for those guys. You never know what they’ll pull. They might say,
“I’ve told you a million times not to loot my Bell trucks so I have no
alternative but to tell you once again not to loot my Bell trucks!”


11/26/05 – Dylan from Canada: A few months ago me and a couple friends found two playstation 2’s on my neighbours curb. I just needed to clean the lens of the DVD drive, and now I’ve got a free (working) PS2!

05/27/05 – F1 from Ring: Alex: df77ddolsad Susan: 044kmslfdds – pls.

04/15/05 – Keeper from a good thing do do is loot a matenince truk for whatever you need to go trashing…

02/15/05 – Ap from Lynn, Mass: I planned to once loot a bell truck in the middle of the day. But I decided not to becuase, it was a fucking square which is always traffic-bound. But I did hang around to see I could steal something.

02/10/05 – Friend from usa: Could you depose of this info for me? I would not want it to get into the wrong hands!

02/06/05 – A guy from canada from Alberta canada: Is there a site like this but that has canadian stuff

01/31/05 – Powersurge from somewhere: As for the paranoia about trashing, remember to look for a bar or something that you can hold onto should a truck happen to come by. There tends to be a little window on the side of the dumpster which you could get out of or hang onto.

12/14/04 – ctrlaltdelete from nowhere fast: a friend of mine did the order trick but he stole the whole truck!!! this guy is insane.

12/13/04 – Coz from San Antonio (SBCity): tons of sbc trucks! tons of shit!!!

09/05/04 – bklyn from new york: PHONE PREAKING ROXX AN DLOOTING TOO

08/08/04 – Pro-PLA from Herethereandeverywhere!: I’ve got floppies from the trash! Floppies of the 31/4 kind. I needed them and they were there.

05/07/04 – Travis from Ohio: “Respect your badge?” It’s not a badge if it’s a sewn-on patch

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3 thoughts on “PLA Issue #4: Dumpster Diving & Looting Bell Trucks

  • May 27, 2007 at 5:49 am

    Yea i’am tryin to think of the cool sht i can do since my gfs dad works for the phone company? any idea on good sht to take??

  • February 8, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    what I did once time is walk into a computer shop and tell the dumb kid that “Arthur” (made up name) the manager of the strip mall said it would be alright to go ahead and throw out the junk comps in the dumpster out back. Told him his computer shop boss was inquiring about it and low and behold there were two idiots out back 10 minutes later tossing all kinds of computers and monitors out beside the dumpster… built 4 pc’s from all the parts and sold ’em to friends…


  • August 27, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    looking for an Ohio Bell hard hat, if any one has one please e-mail me. I want one real bad.

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