by: Ashley Swann Updated:
JONESBORO, Ga. - Some local residents and business owners are on high alert after hundreds of personal documents were found scattered in the middle of a busy Jonesboro intersection.
Channel 2's Ashley Swann spoke with a man who went to help clean up the mess.
"We've got everything from loan applications to balance sheets, to credit card applications, stuff with Social Security numbers, checks," Seth Gudger told Swann.
Gudger found the documents near the intersection of State Route 54 and Battlecreek Road Friday morning, more than 15 hours after drivers began reporting seeing hundreds of papers scattered about, all of them containing highly sensitive personal information.
"Sounded like several trash cans worth of documents," Gudger said.
Clayton County police told Swann officers gathered as much as they could, and are now working to contact the people involved. Among them, the owner of a Cobb County convenience store whose tax return Swann and her photographer found along the side of the road.
He didn't want to be interviewed on camera, but told Swann his accountant works out of Jonesboro.
"This is the type of stuff that can really do you financial harm," said Gudger. "This is the key to people's financial existence, out on the side of the road."
The incident comes just over a week after a vendor lost thousands of medical documents containing confidential information along a busy Gwinnett County road.
Gudger, who owns an on-site shredding business of his own, suspects an off-site shredder may again be responsible. He urges business owners not to take any chances.
"If you have a vendor taking your documents off-site, then anything could happen," Gudger told Swann. "They need to be destroyed at your location, and not leave the premises without being destroyed."
Gudger planned to destroy the documents he picked up.
Clayton County police say they are still contacting victims and hope to eventually track down the source of the papers.