Strange twist in story of documents abandoned in local field

A strange twist in a story you saw first on Action News 5: Hundreds of documents containing personal information were destroyed in a mysterious fire, after being left on the side of a road for anyone to find.  The smoldering documents were cleaned up by Tuesday afternoon, with only black burn marks remaining at the site where they were originally found.

They were the same documents we first told you about Monday.   Someone dumped hundreds of files with containing personal information, including driver's licenses, social security numbers, and more in a field in Northwest Shelby County.  The files came from Regency Motors, a Memphis auto dealership that is now out of business.

Greg Foster, the former owner of Regency Motors, said when he went Tuesday morning to the site where the documents were found  to clean them up, he found burning piles of rubble.  He did not know who set them on fire.

Firefighters soon arrived at the scene to extinguish the fire and to make sure the area was safe.

In an interview Monday, Foster told Action News 5 he didn't know how the financial records from his former business ended up in a field.  "It was entrusted to someone else, that was keeping it," he said.  "Unbeknownst to me, nobody called me to say "come move these files" or anything.  Then I saw your news story and found out it had been dumped."

Today by telephone, foster said he planned to clean up the documents, but didn't when he saw them burning.  Later in the day, he said it was a shame this has happened, and that he tried to do good job cleaning the mess up.

A spokesperson with the Shelby County Sheriff's Department said the fire marshall will investigate the fire.