Police Find Trash Bin Full Of Personal Records

February 6, 2007


Hurst police have recovered and destroyed a trash bin full of discarded personal information.

Officials said the multiple boxes of documents contained medical records, phone bills and Social Security numbers belonging to thousands of people across Texas.

They said the files once belonged to the defunct bill collection company Metro Credit Services, and that the owner of the building at which the company once operated threw out the documents during the weekend.

Building owner Doug Lloyd said he did not know that the boxes contained personal information.

Someone found the documents in the trash bin, NBC 5 reported, and notified authorities.

Joel Johnson was among those whose personal information was thrown out.

His name and Social Security, along with other details, were written on an envelope -- a reminder of an overdue bill from 10 years ago.

Metro Credit Services representative Dale Stephens told NBC 5 he should have destroyed the documents.

"If I had had the financial wherewithal, I should have had someone shred that information," Stephens said.

Police incinerated the files, but Johnson personally destroyed his information.

Investigators are trying to find out if anyone broke any laws.

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