Shred your documents for free and prevent identity theft

FRESNO, Calif.

Dozens of cars lined up Monday morning but it wasn't a drive-thru for food; it was to shred documents and cut down on identity theft.

"Oftentimes people don't realize what can happen when they put their private documents in a regular trash can and they end up in the hands of identity thieves; things like Social Security numbers, date of birth, mother's maiden name; the things that you would expect that would be private," said Central Valley Community Bank President Jim Ford.

Ford says the bank along with Crime Stoppers and Pacific Shredding teamed up eight years ago and started the event to help customers and the community combat identity theft.

Local resident Evelyn Bennett was one of the many who were thankful for the free service.

"I wouldn't want to have any of my account numbers to get into the wrong hands," said Bennett.

People could bring up to six banker boxes full of documents. Pacific employees filled up bins and got to work to safely destroy them.

"Inside the truck the paper is grounded to unrecognizable pieces," said Pacific Shredding Vice President Richard Steed.

Pacific says the paper is then sent to a secure location and recycled. And with tax season and spring cleaning here, they say now is a good time to shred and reduce your risk of identity theft.

"I think a lot of people think this is tax season, and a lot of people think what am I going to do with those old tax returns, and this is a great place to do that," said Ford. "But it's not just tax returns; you'd be surprised how much private information ends up on a piece of paper."

If you missed out on this event, there are more than a dozen planned across the Central Valley. Click here for more information.

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