Lipton Litterbug Caught on Camera
It was a frustrating mystery.
For two years, Gary Bukaty wondered daily, who was the rude motorist that was tossing empty bottles of Lipton Iced Tea onto his Kansas City, Missouri property?
Each bottle was the same: Lipton Pure Leaf Extra Sweet Iced Tea. They landed in roughly the same spot 200 times.
"I felt like someone was targeting me personally," Bukaty said.
So a disgruntled Bukaty started marking a calendar with the letter "B" each day he found a bottle. Finally, when the calendar filled up with Bs, he reached his breaking point.
"I went out and got this camera that has a motion detector. I found a spot that looked like it would work, then I would line it up, and leave it going," Bukaty said.
And it worked! The camera captured the license plate of the driver throwing bottles from a car, which led cops to a Carol Green. Green is a neighbor of Bukaty's and lives only 2 ½ miles away.
Green drank the Lipton iced tea every day on her way to work. Like clockwork, she would finish the drink as she passed the property. Green would then toss the bottle out the window.
With Bukaty sitting in court, prosecutor Todd Thompson wasn't about to let Green off easily.
"[Bukaty] took it very seriously, so we were going to take it very seriously," Thompson said.
Green pled guilty to four counts of littering and apologized. She handed the judge documents to explain her behavior, citing impulse control problems.
So what did Bukaty have to say to Green in court?
"I just got tired of picking up your trash and did something about it," he told the perpetrator.
The case of the Lipton litterbug was finally solved, and serves as a reminder to think twice before you litter.
"I hope it reminds people that they should not litter, because it isn't right. But also, someone might just be watching, and you can get caught," Bukaty said.