In a field in Northwest Shelby County, hundreds of files were recently found dumped. The files contain personal information belonging to hundreds of customers of a car company no longer in business. Not far away, another pile can be found, along with file cabinets and a phone, all from an auto dealership named "Regency Motors."
Former customer Richard Pepper received a call from a woman who was riding horses in the area. She found the papers, and Pepper's information, and called him with a warning. Pepper confirmed to Action News 5 he bought a car from Regency Motors.
"This is just insane," Pepper said. "You hear about computer identity theft, but you don't think it's just going to be laying in a field for someone to just come and pick up."
It is not clear who dumped the files in the field. The treasure trove of information contains items like names, addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers. Even copies of driver's licenses could be found.
"If you look at the records, it's an identity theft dreamland," Pepper said.
Regency Motors sold upscale cars to customers. Included in the dumped files were copies of personal checks from customers and blank checks from Regency.
Pepper, fearing a possible future identity theft, filed a report with the Shelby County Sheriff's Department. "It's a cause for concern, when you consider the amount of personal information that is included," said Steve Shular, spokesperson for the Department.
Detectives are trying to track down how the files ended up in the field.
In the meantime, Action News 5 has contacted the Tennessee State Attorney General's office about the matter.
Early Monday evening, the former owner of Regency Motors met with Action News Five's Janice Broach at the dump site and promised to clean it up.
The owner told Action News Five, "I don't know whose field this is or who it belongs to but we're going to clean it up, we're going to clean it up tonight. It's got my personal information in it too, so I'm very disturbed about it, I can't believe someone would do this."