Detectives arrested the 42-year-old owner of a mail and shipping business for trafficking stolen property, accusing him of dumping customers’ personal documents in a dumpster. The customers had dropped off the documents and paid for them to be secured and professionally shredded.
Investigators know of at least three people whose personal paperwork was then fished out of the dumpster and had their identities compromised.
Detectives initiated the investigation following an extensive ID theft ring bust in late February, where two people were arrested in connection with an ID theft manufacturing scheme. In that case, officers recovered dozens of victim’s credit cards, driver’s licenses, tax documents, passports, washed checks, and homemade counterfeit money. There was also evidence of methamphetamine sales.
When detectives contacted the victims in that crime, at least three indicated they had paid to have their documents shredded at a business in the 2600 block Bellevue Way NE. An investigation revealed the owner accepted payment and the documents, stating they would be professionally shredded. The charges allege the owner dumped the documents in a garbage dumpster behind the business, and the suspects in the other case retrieved them.
The business owner was arrested on investigation of trafficking in stolen property and charges will be sent to the King County Prosecutor’s Office.