An investigation is underway after a parade-goer found that confetti that fell on him and friends during Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade contained strips that had detectives' social security numbers, banking information and unveiled undercover police officers' identities.
Ethan Finkelstein, who was home from college on Thanksgiving break, was watching the parade at 65th Street and Central Park West, when he and a friend noticed a strip of confetti stuck onto her coat.
"It landed on her shoulder," Finkelstein told PIX11 News, "and it says 'SSN' and it's written like a social security number, and we're like, 'That's really bizarre.'
It made the Tufts University freshman concerned, so he and his friends picked up more of the confetti that had fallen around them.
"There are phone numbers, addresses, more social security numbers, license plate numbers and then we find all these incident reports from police."
One confetti strip indicates that it's from an arrest record, and other strips offer more detail. "This is really shocking," Finkelstein said. "It says, 'At 4:30 A.M. a pipe bomb was thrown at a house in the Kings Grant' area."
A closer look shows that the documents are from the Nassau County Police Department. The papers were shredded, but clearly not well enough.
They even contain information about Mitt Romney's motorcade, apparently from the final presidential debate, which took place at Hofstra University in Nassau County last month.
The mysterious "confetti" also contained strips that identified Nassau County detectives by name, even some of their undercover detectives, social security numbers, dates of birth and other highly sensitive personal information were also printed on the strips.
Macy's, the parade sponsor, Macy's, told PIX11 News that it uses only "commercially manufactured, multicolor confetti, not shredded paper."
The confetti strips are apparently shredded confidential documents from the Nassau Police Department, and could have come from any one of a multitude of windows along the parade route. Nassau police are investigating, and no doubt taking the mystery that could lead to the theft of their own identities very seriously.
Sadly, there were also two fatalities during the parade: A clown suffered a fatal collapse in front of spectators as he made balloon animals at Sixth Avenue and West 39th Street, and a civilian New York Police Department worker suffered an apparent heart attack while hooking up a vehicle to be towed off the parade route at West 57th Street and Sixth Avenue.