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Wauwatosa Shreds Its Secrets

Tons of records and receipts were turned into confetti Saturday in an effort to help citizens protect themselves from identity theft.

With two major-league truck-mounted shredding machines working away, chewing and swallowing outdated receipts, tax reports, financial records and what-have-you, Wauwatosa unloaded more than 8 tons of private documents Saturday.

The free service was sponsored by Wauwatosa Crime Stoppers and Shred-it Milwaukee, 12100 W. Wirth St., Wauwatosa, in an effort to reduce identity theft and all crimes associated with it.

Gary Datka, citizen coordinator for Crime Stoppers, said that about 400 cars, vans and trucks had come by through the morning and he expected at least 50 more before the event ended at 1 p.m.

"It's about the same traffic as last year, so I imagine we'll end up with about 16,000 to 17,000 pounds," Datka said. "The first year, we had about 21,500 pounds. People had a lot of stuff stored up."

Police encourage shredding to help protect yourself against identity theft by securely destroying unneeded confidential documents, credit card offers, old checks, bank and credit card statements, and more.

The Wauwatosa Police Department provided on-site security, and volunteers were on hand to help unload materials. Citizens were invited to watch their personal, private documents be dropped directly into the shredders – leaving no question they were safely gone for good.

Wauwatosa residents who have more that needs to be shredded may contact Officer Don Semega at 414-471-8430 Ext. 5114.

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