STATEWIDE – About 6,000 Washington residents turned out today for the first statewide LEGIT Shred-a-thon, carrying bags and boxes of papers containing personal information to be shredded. Organizers deemed the identity theft prevention campaign, which included simultaneous shred events at 29 locations, a huge success.
“The old saying ‘an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’ is especially true with identity theft,” said King County Deputy Prosecutor Susan Storey, who chairs LEGIT. “Today, we collected identity theft prevention by the bag and boxful.”
Consumers and small businesses were invited to bring sensitive documents to be destroyed at no charge by commercial shred trucks, which donated their services.
- A man who visited the Tacoma Police Department site brought bank statements and cancelled checks he had collected since 1965. A person who visited Seattle’s Northgate site brought records dating back to 1954.
- One Seattle resident took a taxi to an event in Ballard; another filled up a backpack and jogged to a Capitol Hill event.
- A person who visited the Bellevue event learned yesterday that he had become an identity theft victim and sought advice from experts there.
- A private investigator brought what he described as "top secret" records to be shredded in Wenatchee.
- Several people who brought papers to the Gig Harbor event indicated that relatives had recently died and they were settling their family’s estate.
LEGIT stands for Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft and is an independent policy advising group of prosecutors, law enforcement, legislators and industry representatives. Attorney General Rob McKenna formed LEGIT to help find ways to better investigate and prosecute identity theft crimes.
“Today’s LEGIT Shred-a-thon was a tremendous success and an excellent example of how government, business and nonprofit organizations can partner together to help reduce identity theft in our state,” McKenna said. “I look forward to the day when Washington is no longer among the Federal Trade Commission’s list of the top 10 states in the nation for reports of identity theft.”
Gov. Chris Gregoire proclaimed April 28, 2007 at “Identity Theft Awareness and Prevention Day” in conjunction with LEGIT’s campaign.
Representatives from local law enforcement, the state Attorney General’s Office, U.S. Attorneys Office, Federal Trade Commission, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and nonprofit organizations and businesses blanked the state to help educate the public about reducing their risk of becoming identity theft victims. Attorney General McKenna and IRS Collections Director Harry Manaka met with the public and local law enforcement in Bellevue, U.S. Attorney Jeff Sullivan was present in Seattle and U.S. Attorney James McDevitt was in Spokane. Legislators also dropped by several locations to show their support.
Preliminary attendance totals for each location are listed below:
Aberdeen: Bank of the Pacific, 300 E Market St. – 70 people. Shredding donated by LeMay Mobile Shredding.
Bellevue: Washington Mutual, Factoria Mall, 4055 Factoria Sq Mall S.E. – 440 people. 21,800 pounds shredded by Iron Mountain.
Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave. – 100 people. Shredding donated by Sound Recycling.
Office Max, 1055 E. Sunset Dr. – 215 people. Shredding donated by Iron Mountain.
Bremerton: Westsound Bank, 607 Pacific Ave. - 150 people. Shredding donated by Recall Total Information Management.
Centralia: Fairway Shopping Center, 1600 S Gold St. – 92 people. Co-sponsored by Centralia Police. Shredding donated by Recall Total Information Management.
Ellensburg: Super 1, 200 E. Mt. View Ave. – 100 people. 6,000 pounds shredded by Data Base Secure Records Destruction. Co-sponsored by Retired and Senior Volunteer Program of Kittitas County.
Everett: BECU Financial Center, 11127 Evergreen Way S. – 580 people. 14,500 pounds shredded by Iron Mountain.
Gig Harbor: Rainier Pacific Bank, 3123 56th St. Ct. N.W. – 160 people. Shredding donated by LeMay Mobile Shredding.
Kennewick: Global Credit Union, 7601 W. Clearwater Ave. – 93 people. 3,600 pounds shredded by Recall Total Information Management.
Kirkland: Honda of Kirkland, 12345 N.E. 85th St. – 165 people. 7,000 pounds shredded by Data Base Secure Records Destruction.
Lakewood: Key Bank at Lakewood Towne Center, 10439 Gravelly Lake Dr. S.W. – 320 people. Shredding donated by Recall Total Information Management.
Lynnwood: Verity Credit Union, 18530 33rd Ave W. – 230 people. 7,520 pounds shredded by Datasite Business Archives.
Moses Lake: Wheatland Bank, 1442 S. Pioneer Way. – 100 people. 5,000 pounds shredded by United Data Security.
West Olympia: Key Bank, 2920 Harrison Ave. W. – 231 people. Shredding donated by United Data Security.
Lacey: South Sound Center, 651 Sleater Kinney Rd. – 193 people. 10,000 pounds shredded by Data Base Secure Records Destruction. Co-sponsored by Lacey Police.
Puyallup: Rainier Pacific Bank-South Hill branch, 109 35th Ave. S.E. – 180 people. Shredding donated by LeMay Mobile Shredding.
Ballard: HomeStreet Bank, 8050 15th Ave N.W. – 215 people. 10,000 pounds shredded by American Data Guard (ADG).
Capitol Hill: Key Bank, 321 15th Ave. E. – 208 people. 12,000 pounds shredded by Iron Mountain.
Northgate: Sterling Savings Bank, 828 N.E. Northgate Way – 90 people. 10,000 pounds shredded by Data Base Secure Records Destruction.
Spokane: Banner Bank, 4407 N. Division St. – 115 people. Shredding donated by Data Base Secure Records Destruction.
Spokane Valley: Sterling Savings Bank Argonne Branch, 507 N. Mullan Rd. – 80 people. Shredding donated by Recall Total Information Management.
Sumner: Red Apple parking lot, 822 Alder St. – 317 people. 11,500 pounds shredded by LeMay Mobile Shredding.
Tacoma: Tacoma Police Department, 3701 South Pine St. – 255 cars. Shredding donated by Iron Mountain.
Vancouver: Luepke Senior Center in Central Park, 1009 E. McLoughlin – 226 cars. Shredding donated by Iron Mountain. Sponsored by RSVP/Volunteer Connections of Clark County.
Ridgefield: Public Utilities Home & Garden Idea Fair, Clark County Event Center at the Fairgrounds, 17402 NE Delfel Rd. – 580 people, many who just wanted information. Shredding donated by Iron Mountain.
Walla Walla: Banner Bank - Blue Mountain branch, 1661 W. Rose St. – 150 people. 3,000 pounds shredded by CI Shredding.
Wenatchee/East Wenatchee: Numerica Credit Union, 477 Grant Rd. in East Wenatchee – 50 cars. 120 boxes and bags of records shredded by Data Base Secure Records Destruction.
Yakima: Wray's Chalet, 5605 Summitview – 287 people. 13,000 pounds shredded by Data Base Secure Records Destruction.
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Media Contact/Photo Requests: Kristin Alexander, Attorney General’s Office, (206) 464-6443
LEGIT: Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft - 500 Fourth Avenue, Room 840 ▪ Seattle, WA 98104