Toledo Talk

Identity Theft? Watch your Garbage Cans!

Observed two white females in an older, rusty brownish/maroon Chevy Blazer stop in West Toledo (Sylvania/Douglas area) and rifle through trash cans. Michigan license plate: DAA 4162

They weren't scavenging for recycling. They left with a mostly empty garbage bag - looked like it had some papers in it. Potential for identity theft is very high.

Driver of the vehicle was observed drinking from a small bottle (could be 5 hour energy, could be alcohol?) before leaving.

Toledo police were called. A squad car drove down my street - did not stop to ask me which direction they went nor ask me for plate number (which I did not have when I first called). Case is closed. Police will do no more.

Watch what you put in your garbage cans. And watch out for the vehicle above.

created by toledonative on Jul 14, 2014 at 10:32:43 am     Local-Politics     Comments: 21

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Comments ... #

"Driver of the vehicle was observed drinking from a small bottle (could be 5 hour energy, could be alcohol?) before leaving."

Was she eating anything as well?

posted by slowsol on Jul 14, 2014 at 10:42:39 am     #  

LOL, slowsol.

But seriously ... Someone recently cloned one of my credit cards. The bank seems to think I was a victim of card skimming at a local gas station, but I suppose trash-digging for old statements is a possibility. Considering the fact that my outside trash bin is full of stinking, poopy diapers, the thought of someone going through it would be funny had the motherfuckers not gone on a $1600 gas station shopping spree with my card number.

Ugh, I have always been so good about ripping up old statements and throwing them away in different wastebaskets around the house -- pieces here, there and everywhere so they'd be impossible to puzzle together -- but lately I have gotten so busy that quick cleanups often include throwing whole stacks of unopened mail away just to keep up with house clutter.

On second thought, I still do think I was more likely a victim of skimming, because this particular card doesn't even get a statement mailed to me, but this warning is a good reminder to be more careful with my other statements.

posted by jmleong on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:16:27 am     #  

LOL, slowsol.

But seriously ... Someone recently cloned one of my credit cards. The bank seems to think I was a victim of card skimming at a local gas station, but I suppose trash-digging for old statements is a possibility. Considering the fact that my outside trash bin is full of stinking, poopy diapers, the thought of someone going through it would be funny had the motherfuckers not gone on a $1600 gas station shopping spree with my card number.

Ugh, I have always been so good about ripping up old statements and throwing them away in different wastebaskets around the house -- pieces here, there and everywhere so they'd be impossible to puzzle together -- but lately I have gotten so busy that quick cleanups often include throwing whole stacks of unopened mail away just to keep up with house clutter.

On second thought, I still do think I was more likely a victim of skimming, because this particular card doesn't even get a statement mailed to me, but this warning is a good reminder to be more careful with my other statements.

posted by jmleong on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:17:11 am     #  

Shredders are now affordable for nearly everyone.

posted by justread on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:31:42 am     #   3 people liked this

I confronted one of the women near our house. She claimed to be collecting recyclables. I'm mobile so I'll post more later.

posted by admin on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:06:58 pm     #  

If nothing else, thanks for the reminder about papers containing personal info. I need to do a better job with shredding - sometimes I am a bit lax and take the "I'll just rip this into eight pieces" approach, especially with junk mail.

posted by historymike on Jul 14, 2014 at 12:20:51 pm     #  

That's my neighborhood as well as my moms. My mom said she could hear someone going through her trash last night around 11:15. By the way, even IF they were taking the recyclables, that is still against the law (theft).
I have gotten lax about shredding too. I usually open the mail at the kitchen table, and the shredder is no where near there, so I do the same as historymike, putting the personalized pieces into the kitchen trash, and all of the generic stuff goes into recycling.
My mom takes her stuff that needs shredding over to Lot Ind. on Hill Ave. They will shred up to 10 lbs. for free.

posted by llz on Jul 14, 2014 at 01:17:09 pm     #  

I'll restore this post to normal later. When I first saw this post at about 11:00 a.m., I thought it was a bogus post because it was authored by a new user, a first and only post that contained a license plate number.

My wife and I are running errands today. Around 11:15 a.m., we left the house again. I saw a vehicle parked on the street that I did not recognize. Today is garbage and recyclable pickup day. The vehicle was parked next to my neighbor's garbage and recycle bins, which meant that if one of the collection trucks came by, it would be unable to reach the bin. The location of the vehicle seemed odd.

No front license plate on the vehicle. I drove around the block to see if anything looked suspicious and to approach the vehicle from the rear. I recognized the license plate from this post.

I pulled into our driveway. One female walked past, carrying two half-filled trash bags. I heard the clanging sound of metal cans.

She got into the vehicle and pulled away. I followed her around the block. Then I saw her partner rummage through a recycle bin. I saw through her tan-colored, thin-walled garbage bag, which bulged with cans.

I stopped and asked what she was doing, and she apologetically said she was collecting recyclables.

To me, both women appeared unhealthily thin. I'll wild guess and say they were scrounging up money to feed a drug habit.

Anyway, this could become a regular activity around recycle pickup day.

Thanks for the heads-up post, toledonative.

posted by jr on Jul 14, 2014 at 02:03:50 pm     #  

Yup, it's still theft according to TPD. This was in broad daylight, this morning.

posted by toledonative on Jul 14, 2014 at 02:05:01 pm     #  

I thought once trash was put at the curb it was considered public domain, the recycle stuff on the other hand maybe not. The stuff is sitting in a public access area once past the line that the city considers their easement.

posted by MIJeff on Jul 14, 2014 at 04:24:37 pm     #  

"No front license plate on the vehicle."

Racist. :D

posted by justread on Jul 14, 2014 at 04:47:02 pm     #  

justread posted at 11:31:42 AM on Jul 14, 2014:

Shredders are now affordable for nearly everyone.

I second that. Don't take chances. Buy one, and put it next to the garbage can. You'll use it more than you think...I've found myself shredding things that are not really sensitive, just because it starts to be kind of fun. I can't really explain that, probably some sick, repressed remnant in my psyche rearing its ugly head. It's like Dan Aykroyd making fish milkshakes in the Super Bass-O-Matic '76: "after five or ten fish...it gets to be quite a rush!"

posted by Sohio on Jul 14, 2014 at 04:48:38 pm     #  

I hate it when they send actual checks attached to your credit card statement. I shred those right away.

posted by justread on Jul 14, 2014 at 06:55:38 pm     #  

Thanks for restoring my post! I've been reading (lurking) for a while and only set up an account a few days ago to comment on another post...not realizing it took a few days to be approved to comment. By then, the moment had passed for the other comment. I added the license plate so others would be aware if they saw this vehicle.

I agree - both women looked quite thin. If they had bags of cans in my neighborhood I would have been annoyed - when they only had a few pieces of paper/envelopes and NO recyclables in their bags when they left....my radar went off.

posted by toledonative on Jul 14, 2014 at 07:00:12 pm     #  

This is all because we can't put our pitbulls out there to guard the cans or they'll steal the pitbulls.

posted by justread on Jul 14, 2014 at 08:15:35 pm     #   3 people liked this

I left a eoeking we 27" TV at the street last week. I thought it might be of value to someone. I keep an old TV around to play classic video games. Some prick pulled up and ripped the cord out of it. Kinda pissed me off.

posted by nick44 on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:13:06 pm     #  

Sorry about the double post earlier.

There was a dude who for several months was going up and down my street on pickup day super early in the morning, going through people's recyclables. I confronted him and he plainly said he was taking them -- whole bags full -- to trade in for money. (I guess you can still do that in Michigan?) I told him what he was doing was theft -- we in Toledo get "points," you know, based on the weight/volume of our route's recyclables and those points can be redeemed for coupons and discounts if you've signed up for an account, yada yada. I haven't seen the guy in awhile, so maybe he's moved on. I did tell him I was going to call the cops, but I never did.

As for getting a shredder, I have a 2-1/2-year-old, so, no, that ain't gonna happen for a while.

posted by jmleong on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:14:45 pm     #  

Or just unplug the electric shredder when you aren't using it.

posted by Ace_Face on Jul 14, 2014 at 11:32:33 pm     #  

Isn't a 2 year old a shredder all by himself?

posted by MIJeff on Jul 15, 2014 at 12:03:58 am     #   2 people liked this

justread posted at 06:55:38 PM on Jul 14, 2014:

I hate it when they send actual checks attached to your credit card statement. I shred those right away.

I'm with you.

You can request they not send those checks. But, when Bank A sells my AMEX/Mastercard/Visa to Bank B, the checks start again and I've got to call again. Even so, I've had pretty good luck getting those damn things stopped.

posted by oldhometown on Jul 15, 2014 at 01:23:55 am     #  

LOL, MIJeff, you got that right.

"Here, kid, play with Mommy's bank statements for awhile."

posted by jmleong on Jul 15, 2014 at 11:46:50 am     #