Timothy Troller was out riding his bicycle with another cyclist well after dark in Polk County Florida when police stopped him. Tim Troller had attached a milk crate to his bike. According to WLFA:
The dairy crate had the business name of Sunshine State Dairy Farms clearly marked on the sides of the dairy crate. Troller claimed he found the crate on the side of the road and attached it to his bike.
With its unusually harsh form of ‘broken windows’ policing, local police warned that “those who go out and steal a milk crate … are the same people who are probably breaking into cars.”
Tim Troller’s grandfather retorted, “He didn’t know it was against the law, or he wouldn’t have put it on the front of the bicycle and rode up and down the road.” That may be true, but ignorance is no excuse for the law.
Troller was charged with Possession of Dairy Crate. He remains in jail days later.
As the milk industry warns on its popular website:
Many earth conscious consumers are turning to bikes as a way to reduce their carbon footprint. Unfortunately, they don’t understand that by taking a milk crate out of the delivery cycle they are adding to the carbon footprint of each container of milk.
The public has often been informed of the perils of improper milk crate use:
That milk crate on the back of your bicycle, the one that you fill with goodies from the farmers market? That probably cost some dairy about $4 to replace, and it cost all of humanity the price of molding another four pounds of petroleum-derived plastic into a milk crate.
With $80 million in milk crates being stolen per year, laws have been passed to make possession a crime. California conducts milk crate sting operations to reduce the theft and stop the criminals. A good five percent are stolen for “personal use” like the one on the Tim Troller bicycle.
Still, Tim Troller either did not know nor care about the dangers and penalties for possessing the milk crate. Now, he pays the price.
Apparently, there is an entire underground industry on YouTube pushing bicycle milk crate installations upon unsuspecting citizens, complete with detailed instructions. In this one, you can actually see the criminal shifty-eyes stealing a milk crate himself.
Tim Troller’s grandfather is not happy about the arrest. Also according to WFLA:
[Grandfather Edward] Hale said his grandson has a long rap sheet, but doesn’t agree with this arrest. “Wait until he does something wrong. That’s the way I feel about it. It’s silly to me, and besides if it was [illegal], it shouldn’t be enough to carry you to jail,” Hale said.