Man Finds Dumpster Diver in Front Yard

5:43 PM, Jul 17, 2013   |    comments
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One man in Houston County got an eyeful when he looked out his window one morning. He told 13WMAZ's Jennifer Moulliet about an early riser on a hunt in his trash can.

Each week Eric Blanton puts his trash can at the end of his driveway, but this week someone took a look inside before the truck came.

"They pulled up into my driveway, turned their flashers on, got out of the car, went to our trash can and started pulling all of my trash out of it tearing open bags going through them," explains Blanton.

He says the scavenger even took two bags with him. He called the Houston County Sheriff's office and a deputy came out. But Blanton says he was surprised when the officer said there was nothing he could do.

Kelvin Collins with central Georgia's Better Business Bureau explains why, "Once you take it to the side of the road, and it's on the curb. It's on public property and someone can go through it and there's really nothing you or the police can do."

Blanton was shocked to learn, "If they were going through it by the house that's trespassing but being that it was at the street it's okay for them to go through my trash and get what they want out of there."
 
Collins says you should shred all items that contain personal information, like account numbers or social security numbers before trashing it. He says often people look for pre-approved credit cards in other's trash.

"If you don't shred that, someone can take it out of your trash, fill it out, do a change of address and very possibly get a credit card in your name coming to their address," explains Collins.  

Blanton says, "The main thing I worry about is when the credit card company sends you blank checks you know did I shred all of them before I put them in the trash can or did I just throw them in?" 

He says he'll make sure there's nothing to find the next time someone chooses to dig through his trash.

Kelvin Collins also suggests dropping your mail off at the post office to be mailed out. He says raising the red flag on your mailbox doesn't only alert the mail man to pick up outgoing items it also alerts thieves.

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