Man spotted digging for paperwork in Pacific Beach trash cans

Posted at 11:27 PM, Aug 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 02:27:55-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A Pacific Beach woman thinks she caught a man on camera digging through the trash for personal documents. Felicia says she sees people going through her trash all of the time, but this man stuck out to her because he was tossing cans aside and focusing on paperwork.

"I pull up and I see this stranger going through my neighbor’s trash," she said. “I was shocked because it’s my neighborhood and those are my neighbors and I was concerned because of identity theft and anything that goes along with somebody stealing your personal papers.”

Felicia started recording when she realized what the man was actually after in the trash bins. At one point, she says you can see him stop to read one, tear some information off and then put it in his pocket. Felicia says he was after any information he could get.

"Probably personal information," she said. "It was kind of weird that he grabbed a postcard, he read it, and then put it in his pocket, and he just kept going through paperwork.”

Felicia says this is a huge problem in the community. And, not long after our interview with her, we saw another man going through more trash cans.

"It happens all the time, all hours, different people going through the trash, picking up cans, picking up god knows what," she said.

Now she just hopes her video makes people rethink what they throw away.

“I guess just look out for each other in this community," she said. "That’s all we can really do.”

Felicia tried reporting the incident to police, but she says she couldn't get through to anyone on the non-emergency number. 

Tips for protecting your documents: 

  • Experts suggest soaking the papers in water to destroy the ink.
  • You can also cut or cross-shred after hole punching all of your personal information.
  • If you have a lot of documents to dispose of, you can use also use a professional shredding company. Many of them offer services around tax season.