LAS CRUCES, N.M. (KTSM) — Every day tow truck driver and salvage yard owner Eric Luchini heads out to pick up vehicles around the borderland. “Well, we’re on to the next one,” said Eric Luchini as he climbed into his tow truck.
He picks up vehicles and brings them to his salvage yard in Las Cruces. With over 40 years in the business, Luchini says he has come across countless personal items left behind in vehicles.
“This van right here is literally stuffed with stuff,” said Luchini walking up to a white van in the salvage yard. He takes us through his salvage yard, opening up vehicle doors and showing us what was left behind.
In just a few minutes we came across IDs, credit cards, a bank account number, and a bill of sale. “People just leave things to forget about them, leave them, don’t think about them, it’s an everyday occurrence,” said Luchini.
He says he does his best to contact the owner but that people rarely come back for their belongings. “It’s really sad to know that I’ve found birth certificates, I found death certificates that to me would be important,” said Luchini.
He usually destroys what he finds, asking people to come and get their items. “Come to the tow yard within a day or two, you know where the car is at, call a friend to give you a ride, do something to get your personal items out of there. ID theft is very, very big right now,” said Luchini.
The FBI of El Paso tells KTSM 9 News that something as simple as an ID in the wrong hands can be dangerous. “Besides your social security number, your social security card, your ID is the number one most important piece of information out there because it has your full name, it has your date of birth, it even has your signature,” said Special Agent Jeanette Harber the Public Affairs Officer for the FBI of El Paso. “So, what we’ve seen is a lot of individuals will use these IDs to do fake ID production but also impersonation.”
All items KTSM 9 News crews came across in a matter of minutes at Mr. Luchini’s salvage yard.