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Webster Groves Man Collecting Cans Fights Trespassing Charge

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Robert Renna stands along the Kirkwood train tracks where he was fined for collecting cans. September 27, 2013 (KMOX News/Kevin Killeen)

Robert Renna stands along the Kirkwood train tracks where he was fined for collecting cans. September 27, 2013 (KMOX News/Kevin Killeen)

KIRKWOOD, Mo. (KMOX) - A Webster Groves man has a court appearance this week after he got a ticket for picking up cans near railroad tracks in Kirkwood.

Robert Renna says he needed the money so he was picking up cans to redeem for cash when he got a ticket that led to a $200 fine for trespassing.

“All I would like [the judge] to do is dismiss the citation, dismiss the fine,” Renna says. He estimates the cans he was collecting that day were worth about six to nine dollars.

“There were no posting indicating private property, no ‘No Trespassing.’ I feel that, technically, I wasn’t guilty of trespassing as I was cited and fined for,” he explained.

Renna claims he doesn’t have the money to pay fines and court fees. He has been given the option of doing community service to pay the fine but says he can’t afford the $60 registration fee.

Renna feels the city is trying to make an example of him after a Kirkwood boy was killed last year while walking on the tracks.

“It does not seem fair to me. It seems very unjust to me,” he added.

Kirkwood police say they support the judge’s actions to prevent more tragedies.

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