TAMPA, Fla (WFLA) — The 8 On Your Side Shred-A-Thon kicked off without a hitch Saturday morning with a line of cars at Raymond James Stadium.

“Desktop computer, a scanner, an old printer,” Jeannine Sergent listed as she waited in line.

Hundreds of cars lined up as people dropped off their personal documents for shredding and electronics for disposal.

They also got to meet some 8 On Your Side anchors and reporters along the way.

“It’s a good way to get rid of old documents and things I don’t need so I come every year,” Dennis Reddick said. “It’s just an easy way to get rid of material I don’t need.”

Once a thief gets their hands on your private data, the possibilities for misuse are endless.

A crook can steal money out of your bank account, stick you with someone else’s medical debt or leave you to take the fall for a crime they committed because after all, they’re pretending to be you.

“Old bank statement, brokerage statements, utility bills, medical bills and even pre-approved credit cards should be shredded to protect you,” said Lindsay August, Truist Tampa and Clearwater market president

Just last year, the federal trade commission recorded 1.1 million reports of identity theft.

“We are seeing so much identity theft,” August responded. “Confidential information unfortunately is being stolen and it’s very important for our community to protect themselves.”

Some people like James Ponds showed up as early as 6 a.m., just to make sure they could take part in the free event.

“Just like us, people have things to shred to get rid of and are not sure how to do it, Ponds explained. “They buy the little things to shred and it does, it takes forever.”

I think it’s great that they do this,” Sergent said. “Thank you, News Channel 8.

If you missed this year’s Shred-a-Thon, don’t worry, there are still some things you can do to protect yourself from identity theft.

You can find those details here.