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Crime Stoppers Help 'Shred'



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The Sioux Empire Crime Stoppers were doing a little different job than usual Saturday. Instead of getting tips and finding criminals, they were giving tips and preventing crime.

Car after car pulled into Minnwest Bank’s parking lot on 57th Street and Louise Avenue on Saturday. All were people wanting to drop off their old bank statements, receipts and even those credit card statements.
 
"We are encouraging people to bring out their documents so they can be destroyed and properly disposed of,” said Tom Simmons, President of Sioux Empire Crime Stoppers.

Volunteers then emptied box, after box, after box. The next step was getting rid of it.

 "You can empty the contents into a bin, and then it tips right into a shredder. It’s all secure, it shreds the documents, and then we recycle the product into tissue paper and things like that,” said Lyle Roeder, Dakota Data Shred Inc.
     
Roeder was manning one of two mobile shred units at the bank. He said these trucks can hold up to 8,000 pounds of shredded paper.

"It's just like the small shredders, except it's a lot bigger and they are capable of shredding 2,000 to 3,000 pounds an hour,” Roeder said.
 
It’s an event put on by the Sioux Empire Crime Stoppers. Simmons said for the past five years, the organization has come together with Dakota Data Shred for their ‘Identity Theft Awareness Project.’ The goal is to help people get rid of their important documents properly, by shredding them.
   
"There are people that will go through your trash to try and steal your identity,” said Simmons.
    
And he said if any of your documents contain identifying information are just thrown out, your trash could become somebody else’s treasure.

“All it takes is your name, maybe your social security number, or some other pieces of identifying information, and that enables them to take over your identity,” said Simmons.

In return, the organization was asking for a $5 donation, a small price to pay for a little peace of mind.

Simmons said another way to keep you safe is to do a credit report at least once a year. He said the report is one way to track your finances and see if someone may be pretending to be you.
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