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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bellevue Police attack identity theft with Shred-a-thon April 28

Each year, more than 5,000 Washington residents become identity theft victims. Bellevue residents can learn how reduce their likelihood of becoming identity theft victims and shred sensitive documents at no charge at the LEGIT Statewide Shred-a-thon on Saturday, April 28. Consumers and small businesses are invited to bring sensitive documents to be destroyed to the Washington Mutual Bank at Factoria Square Mall, 3919 Factoria Blvd. SE.

Iron Mountain will provide shredding from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until trucks are full, whichever comes first. In order to accommodate as many people as possible, there is a limit of three grocery bags or two banker boxes per customer. Police, government officials, business leaders and other experts will be on hand to answer questions and share valuable information about preventing identity theft.

The event is one of 29 statewide organized by Washington’s Law Enforcement Group Against Identity Theft, better known as LEGIT. The statewide shred-a-thon is the first for Washington, and possibly the nation, and aims to raise awareness of identity theft prevention and assist the public in keeping sensitive documents out of the hands of crooks.

Financial institutions, retailers, small businesses, nonprofit organizations and commercial shredding companies have volunteered to host simultaneous shredding events for the public.

LEGIT Chair Susan Storey, a King County deputy prosecutor, said the shred-a-thon aims to raise awareness of the importance of protecting personal information.

"Identity thieves rifle through trash, recycling bins and mailboxes in search of checks, bank statements and bills," Storey said. "They later use personal information provided on those documents to steal money from your accounts or open new credit cards. Both homeowners and businesses are at risk. We want consumers and businesses to develop habits for protecting personal information that become second nature, like locking your front door, wearing a seatbelt, and putting out a campfire. A thief can't steal an identity if he can't first find identity information."

LEGIT encourages consumers and businesses to think “SMART”:

Secure your identity and financial information.
Minimize risks.
Act responsibly.
Restrict access to only those who need the information.
Think before providing personal information to requesters.

More information about the shred-a-thon, including other locations and a list of suggested items to destroy is available on the Attorney General's Shred-a-thon web page.

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Contact Information

450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Officer Seth Tyler
Phone: 425-452-4129
E-mail: bellevuepd@bellevuewa.gov

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