BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Volunteers from Destiny’s Road Animal Rescue were on the trail of a stray dog that had made the old Marlette National Corporation’s abandoned factory her home, when they stumbled upon piles of old confidential personnel documents at the shuttered, dilapidated plant, and they contacted Call 4 Action.
The next day, the dog was captured, and within minutes a city crew re-boarded up the building, but former workers, such as Jim Beats of Marilla, are still worried about sensitive confidential records falling into the wrong hands, “Identity theft being such a big issue nowadays, anybody can just go in there. Who is stopping them?”
Although the old metal plating company, on Rano Street, has been off-limits to the public since it closed in 2008, vandals and neighborhood kids have broken into the property, exposing reams of old tax and personnel documents that were left behind.
Beats worked for Marlette until 1998, but he knows others who worked for the company until they locked the doors 9 years ago, “Boards are not going to stop somebody who really wants to do it. So yes, they can get in there and take whatever they want, and who knows whose W-2 forms they are going to grab.”
While a city crew did replace the old damaged boards, they would not go any farther because city officials said that would be trespassing. North District Councilman Joe Golombek says a new owner has taken over the property, 25 Rano Street LLC.
“We walked through the building and they do have plans, within the next week or so, to get in there and destroy all the records they find.”
Golombek said the new owners were not aware of the old records left behind until the Call 4 Action report two weeks ago, “They bought the place as is, they did not know about what was in there, and they are trying to do the right thing to the best of their ability, as quickly as possible.”
There was another buyer earlier this year, but that buyer died before the property could change hands. Golombek says 25 Rano Street LLC executives would like to demolish the old metal plating factory and, in the long term, redevelop the property.