CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago man said Sears is lucky he’s honest; otherwise, the retailer could have exposed hundreds of its former employees to identity theft.

WBBM Newsradio’s Regine Schlesinger reports, on Saturday, Hersey Mallory went to a liquidation sale at the Sears store in Chatham — which has since closed — and bought three file cabinets.

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As he was loading them, he noticed something different about one of the cabinets.

“I couldn’t imagine why it would be so heavy,” he said.

When he opened the file cabinet, he found sensitive employment records — including bank information — for hundreds of fired and retired Sears employees.

“It shows their birth certificate, it shows their Social Security number, it shows how much they were being paid,” Mallory said. “In this day of identity theft, I’ve got all of these people’s whole Social Security numbers, whole addresses.”

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He claimed he got the run-around when he called Sears, so he tried the human resources department.

“That was even worse, because we got some chick on there who started talking to me about ‘Well, I’m going to have to do an investigation,’” Mallory said. “I said ‘What are you talking about, doing an investigation? Come over here and get this stuff.’”

After going to the media, Mallory said Sears promised to pick up the records, and promised him a $100 gift certificate to thank him for his honesty.

Mallory said he didn’t want a reward, he did it because it was the right thing to do.

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“It could have been somebody that I cared about, somebody that I knew. It just wouldn’t have been right,” he said.