ALBERTVILLE, Ala. — Monday morning when employees came to work at a Marshall County recycling center, they found boxes of documents that included people’s personal information in what looked like personal tax documents.
Albertville-Boaz Recycling Center is a joint operation between the two neighboring cities in Marshall County. It’s not unusual for workers there to find an influx of recyclables on Monday morning, because the center is closed on Sunday. “Everybody here is very conscious of what they do,” said recycling coordinator Jeannie Courington. “They’re very protective. We go through a lot of information sessions and they know how proud I am of this place, and how I want it to have a good name.”
So when they found boxes and boxes full of what looked like tax documents with personal information, a Birmingham-based company’s paperwork, blank forms, and binders, they notified Courington. “So we set it aside and started the pursuit of trying to figure out what to do with it and where it came from,” she said.
Some of the papers have a company name listed: Professional Tax & Accounting, which has three offices in Birmingham, Jasper, and Bessemer.
We called the company. “We had a theft of documents that happened,” a company official said in a statement, “A break-in that was out of our control. We contacted the Birmingham Police Department, and we’re doing everything in our power to work with the proper authorities to hold the thief accountable.”
The recycling center does have security footage that shows someone dropping the boxes off in two trips. The Albertville Police Department is using that as part of the investigation.
Many of the documents have Birmingham-area information on them. As to how the boxes ended up miles away, that’s what Albertville and Birmingham detectives are working to figure out. “We try to be protective of everything that’s here,” Courington said. She added they do offer a shred service and people are discouraged from going through items at the recycling center.
For the time being, they’re going to hold on to those documents so the Albertville Police Department can look into it. We reached out to the Birmingham Police Department to see if the company filed a report and what the status of the investigation is, but the police department has not returned our calls.