The Nextdoor app is a great place for neighbors to communicate with each other and form a tight-knit community. It's also ground-zero for drama. The comments in Newburgh, NY's section of the app exploded recently over a simple question that revolved around a complicated question: was a woman stealing from her neighbors?

lissart via Canva
lissart via Canva
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Unauthorized Dumping in Newburgh, NY

"Advice needed," the post began. "I have a neighbor who doesn’t get garbage pick up but has been seen SEVERAL times putting her garbage in those of us on the street who DO pay for garbage pick up ($50 a month!) randomly sneaking hers in a different one each time. What do you do?" It's been five days since the post, but the comments haven't stopped, and there were very strong arguments from both sides.

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Nextdoor
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Residents Respond in Newburgh, NY

"Just turn the cheek. Sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side till you get there. Compassion and empathy go a long way", said one of the cooler heads in the debate. "Is it that big of a deal? Let it go..." added another. Not all the comments were as kind.

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Nextdoor
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"Get a camera system. Catch her on camera putting the garbage in your can. Send her a cease and desist letter, letting her know she was caught on camera, and tell her if she continues her actions, you will pursue criminal charges for theft of services", suggested one of the more action-hungry commenters in the group. "As a first step... leave a note in her mailbox asking her politely to please stop. This will avoid a confrontation and it does not shame her face to face", suggested a less confrontational neighbor.

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Is It Stealing?

So does this call for the police or for some compassion? Is it "theft of services" if there was room in the garbage can? The comments clearly reflected that the answer is a personal one, but as one commenter reminded the group, "What is the harm if there’s room in the trash cans?  It’s better than having it all over the street and yards."

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