Sensitive documents found all over road

June 23, 2008 4:37:14 PM PDT
Some sensitive corporate information was found lying on the street for anyone to pick up.The files were full of confidential information and lost by an insurance agency last Friday.

We saw files on at least six different businesses. The insurance agency that lost them says it was a freak accident and has never happened in their 34 years of business. The concerned citizen says, with identity theft on the rise, she just couldn't drive by and do nothing.

"I saw checks, some of the info looked confidential so I was kind of freaked out," said Brend Saad who found the files.

Some of the confidential information on the checks included bank account numbers and signatures. There was information on oil companies, a liquor store and gas stations. Some files had information on employees and their driver's license numbers. One file listed a gas station's name and address along with a survey showing it doesn't have a security system.

"It looked like they were stacked there alongside the road," she said.

Saad found the files Saturday on a sidewalk just off the Barker-Cypress exit on 290 West. That's exactly where Jess Akin, owner of Jess W. Akin Insurance Agency, says they flew out of his truck as he was taking them to storage.

When we returned the files, Akin didn't want to talk on camera, but did issue a statement saying, "this was an honest mistake."

He says he tried to recover the box but it was hit by a car and then it started raining. He says he planned to go back once the rain stopped and traffic lightened up.

"I don't want my information in other people's hands and I'm sure other people don't either," Saad said.

That's something Saad said happened to her in the past. She spent months trying to recover from having her credit card stolen. It's the main reason why she decided to make sure those files didn't end up in the wrong hands.

"We have

to protect ourselves," she warned. "Everything is based on credit, who we are, what our numbers are, where we live. This violates our security privacy and could have devastating effects on our lives and that's what scares."

Jess Akin says commercial files are burned after three year and all personal files are shredded. Saad says before deciding to take the files, she called the sheriff's department, but a dispatcher said they didn't pick up paper on the side of the road.

"They said was we can't send an officer out to pick up papers on the side of the road," she said.

The sheriff's department says Saad never actually requested a deputy pick up the files. If she would have made that request, a deputy would have done it.

If you find confidential documents like this, the sheriff's department says you can either wait for a deputy to pick them up or drop them off yourself at one of their offices, but deputies should never deny the request.

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