US Army retrieves dumped documents

Lt. Col. Frank Melgarejo: Documents should have been shredded

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MARGATE, Fla. - U.S. Army command comes to Local 10 to retrieve documents and personal information found dumped and discarded behind a shopping center in Margate.

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Melgarejo said the Army has launched a full investigation.

"I can't say enough how embarrassed we are because this is not the way we handle personal information," said Melgarejo.

Melgarejo is head of Army recruiting in South Florida and came to Local 10 personally to retrieve the materials found dumped behind the Town Shops. The U.S. Army has a recruiting office in the Town Shops.

READ: Part 1 of Jeff Weinsier's report

"I'm glad it fell in your hands and you did the right thing and called us," Melgarejo said.

Melgarejo even watched the video of how Local 10 found the materials.

Inside the boxes, there were copies of social security cards, passports, driver's licenses, medical records, police background checks, and sensitive personal insurance information.

Most of the information belonged to active, enlisted personnel of the U.S. Army.

Army investigators have already contacted Ray Rath who discovered the materials and even went to recruiting office to express his concerns.

"I owe you an answer. I owe the public an answer as to why this happened. And, those individuals that are responsible will be accountable," said Melgarejo.

Melgarejo said the Army has strict rules and regulations on how to destroy such documents and it all should have been shredded.

Local 10 took a box of the most sensitive materials and handed it to Melgarejo.

"I want to say publicly, thank you for bringing this to our attention because this will be corrected. This is not the way we do business," Melgarejo said.

Melgarejo said he will personally send letters to those whose information was found here, apologizing and promising it won't happen again.

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