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That's Crumby: Man Caught in Alleged Doughnut Dumping

Camden County Park Police charge a Dunkin' Donuts worker with dumping baked goods at Newton Lake Park, a problem that has gone on for two years.

Everyone’s heard the old stereotype about cops and their love of doughnuts. But why would cops go on a two-day stakeout for doughnuts?

It’s probably not what you’re thinking. In this case, the officers were staking out , trying to collar the person responsible for doughnut dumping.

Yes, doughnut dumping. Two years' worth, in fact, according to Camden County Park Police.

It seems someone has been regularly dumping 50-pound bags of doughnuts—sprinkled, glazed, jelly-filled and everything in between—at Newton Lake, usually along the banks or on fishing piers. The weekly area newspaper, The Retrospect, first reported the problem.

While authorities surmised the doughnut dumper could be leaving the treats thinking they would feed the resident geese and birds, officials warned the food was actually very harmful to the lake’s wildlife. Plus, wrappers and other trash were usually part of the dumps.

So Camden County Park Police went on a two-day stakeout of the lake and found the suspect at the cream-filled center of the dumping mystery: Santosh Dey, of Oaklyn, who works at a nearby Dunkin’ Donuts.

Det. Gerald Torres spotted Dey allegedly dumping doughnuts—in three bags that also contained trash and hairnets—at 6:15 a.m. Thursday. Dey told officers he wanted to feed the wildlife, but police found that account full of holes. Dey now faces charges of dumping food in county parks and feeding wildlife. The charges carry total fines of $150, plus court costs. The matter will be heard in Collingswood Municipal Court. 

Dey was charged only in Thursday's dumping incident, according to authorities. County police plan to talk to the Dunkin' Donuts store owner about previous incidents, but no charges are pending.

Camden County officials credited residents’ reports for bringing attention to the dumping and helping solve the case. The Retrospect’s reports contained several residents who witnessed the doughnut piles. Then, earlier this month, a county resident emailed the county freeholder board to complain about the doughnuts, plus to provide a description of the mystery dumper’s car and habits.

That email prompted the lake stakeout.

“It’s this kind of observation and involvement by residents that helps us keep the parks safe and clean for everyone,” Freeholder Jeffrey Nash, liaison to the Parks Department, said in a statement. “We have rules and regulations that protect and preserve the parks for everyone’s use, but we depend on residents to make us aware when they see bad things happening so that we can respond.

"We applaud the work of the Camden County Park Police and of the concerned resident who took the time to check things out and email us.”

Residents who notice any other odd goings-on at county parks should report the issue to Camden County Park Police at 865-309-0006, ext. 5300.

Tim Holmes September 08, 2011 at 10:16 PM
If they have to dump that many doughnuts ,why don,t they just do two things.Make less doughnuts or give them away to a homeless shelter.No muffin stumps please.
MSLeher/Red Dog Designs September 09, 2011 at 10:58 AM
i am a resident of Collingswood and actually am appalled daily by the amount of trash surrounding the lake and around the edges of it. I am originally from Denver and road trash, trash in rivers is almost unheard of. I'm sadly not really that surprised by this story. I realize that this is one person/one company being busted for dumping but I think the borough, and the areas around need to do something OVERALL about the trash in the river. Again, from Colorado, i'm sensitive to even a little bit of trash so to some here it might not be a lot. I think everyone needs to contribute to keeping the surrounding areas litter-free.
Kevin September 09, 2011 at 02:03 PM
It's not just the trash around the lake. It's the entire Park. Empty and broken beer bottles on the playround are common. Plus, take a stroll down Haddon Ave or Cuthbert Blvd and you'll be horrified at the amount of litter in the gutters and in people's front yards.
Colin September 09, 2011 at 02:41 PM
I love the NY Post headline.
Jenny September 09, 2011 at 08:46 PM
People would buy their donuts if they weren't always stale :(

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