CCTV footage shows the moment a thief steals a giant council-owned dustbin.

Council bosses have released the images after a spate of thefts of the communal bins, which they believe thieves are selling off for scrap metal.

So far, they believe 16 containers have been carted off, costing taxpayers around £5,000 to replace.

The worst-hit areas so far have included Western Road, Church Road, Preston Road and New England Street in Brighton.

Councillor Gill Mitchell, chairman of Brighton and Hove City Council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, said the “brazen” thieves were targeting bins relied upon by businesses.

She said: “These crooks are not only stealing from the council, they are also stealing from the public as it costs the council money to replace them.

“And every bin that’s stolen means less money we have to spend on other waste services we provide.”

It is estimated that each bin could fetch around £200 on the black market.

The crooks dump what waste is in the bin, clean it down and repaint before selling it on.

The businesses affected so far have been Yefsis of Greece in London Road, The Hive Cafe in Stoneham Road, Foodilic and Coffefix in Western Road, 7 Bone Burger in Church Road, and Cafe Plenty in New England Street.

The same thieves even had the cheek to steal a second bin from Badlands Guitars in Preston Road, just two days after the council replaced it.

Badlands Guitar owner Graham Cook said: “On the face of it, this may appear a petty crime, but when you consider the expense of every bin stolen, paid in taxes, plus the massive inconvenience and the high likelihood of fly tipping the contents, this adds up to a series of crimes we would love to see resolved.

“Obviously this has distracted us from our business in studying and printing from our CCTV, thus losing us money. If anyone has any information it would be greatly appreciated.”

In the footage a thief can be seen walking up to a bin and lurking around, checking to see if he is being watched.

When the coast is clear, he is then shown wheeling away the bin, and it appears to be put into the back of a van.

Police are investigating the incident. Inspector Paul Ransome said: “We would like to hear from anyone who has witnessed these bin thefts or has any information about them.”

Witnesses or anyone with information can contact the police on 101 and quite serial 504 of 27/05 or report information online at