ID theft waiting to happen

July 4, 2008 4:10:27 PM PDT
Several homeowners in Conroe tell us they feel like their privacy has been invaded because of what one person stumbled upon. Credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, even divorce papers were left in the open. The late night discovery in the Conroe neighborhood led to fireworks on the eve of the Fourth of July. Neighbors say on Thursday night, their personal information was found in a place where it could have fallen into the hands of anyone.

Devyn Harris has only lived in Hunters Glen neighborhood for a couple of weeks, but she got to know her neighbors rather quickly.

"A wind could have picked them up and carried them throughout the neighborhood," she said.

As she was taking a walk, stacks of papers and files caught her eye in a doorless garage of a home under construction.

"I believe when they sold the model home, they took everything out of there and put it in this garage," said Harris. "It doesn't even have a door."

Harris says while it was dark out, it was clear to her what she was seeing.

"Birth certificates, divorce decrees, date of birth, anything you can think of for someone to steal, ID theft was on there," said Harris.

As word spread, neighbors got out their flashlights to find out if their information was in the stack.

"I feel like, I feel naked because this is not right for them to leave our information like this over here," said resident Teresa Mosley.

"Our floor plan, hello; robbers, just give them an open door, why don't you," said resident Tilisa Meredith.

As neighbors looked through the documents, they found their own names and realized there was sensitive information from almost every homeowner on the street. That's when they called police.

A Conroe officer took the documents away. While the file cabinets are empty now, neighbors don't know if their information has been compromised. But their trust has.

"Everybody in here worked so hard to get what they have and just for somebody to take our stuff and throw it in a garage like it's nothing is just sick," said Harris.

Eyewitness News made several calls to the builder Friday. Given the holiday, we have not yet had a response.

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