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Man says storage facility mistakenly auctioned off his belongings

Man Says Storage Facility Mistakenly Auctioned Off His Belongings


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (May 20th, 2014) – A man claiming a storage unit containing his possessions was mistakenly auctioned off has been trying to find a resolution for two years, FOX17 reports.

After getting nowhere, he turned to the FOX 17 Problem Solvers.


Dennis Pearce said thousands of dollars worth of stuff including toys for a five-year-old girl and his one-year-old son were inside a storage unit he rented back in January 2012.

"They took me to a unit, C-106," he said. "I won't forget it and the gate wouldn't open so the guy said, 'Let's go check out D-106′. I went over there the gate opened and he said go put your stuff in this unit, all we got to do is change the 'C' to a 'D'."

A change documented in his rental agreement. Pearce said all he owned was inside that unit.

The receipts show month after month of payments. He visited the unit twice to get personal items. On the third visit he noticed something was wrong.

"I went there to get my son's pack-and-play and I noticed my key wasn't working," he said. "The receptionist showed me a receipt and told me that my unit was auctioned off."

Pearce said the unit he thought he was paying for belonged to someone else. The unit his stuff was stored in, no one had been paying for.

FOX 17 helped facilitate a face-to-face meeting with the current manager of Evergreen Storage Units, Randall Hope. Where Pearce was able to explain the situation to her.

"On one day, I came here and told them I am paying for the wrong unit," he said to her.

"I see it. I can see it," she replied.

"That's why I am trying to get this settled and get this done," said Pearce.

Hope said the problem comes from prior management and has nothing to do with the people now running the facility.

"I would like to shake your hand and I am truly sorry for your losses because I can only imagine memories, valuables that this place is designed to keep safe," she said.

While Pearce has documentation indicating that he paid for the units and indicating a mistake on the part of Evergreen Storage. What he doesn't have is a certified list of what was in the unit.

"With all due respect sir," Hope said to Pearce, "you could have had a tricycle in there and then come back and say, 'I had a very valuable item in there worth a lot of money.' We couldn't proceed without knowing what exactly the inventory was about what was claimed to be lost."

Pearce said he should be entitled to something for his loss, a loss he said the company profited from in the auction.

"The individual person that set you in a unit, knowing that it was wrong that is who I think should be held accountable," said Hope.

Pearce said he is in the process of filing a civil-suit against the owner of Evergreen Storage Units.

A local auctioneer said it's typical for auction houses to take pictures or video of the auction process. Pearce is hopeful if he can track down who sold his stuff and when he may find the itemized list of belongings he's been looking for.


Join the discussion

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Larry May 26 2014 at 7:49 AM

As a former auctioneer, a list of goods sold must be part of the auction reeipt showing the amount that unit sold for and the name and address of the buyer. Sounds like the rental is trying to get out of paying.

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10 replies
dancerprnc May 22 2014 at 9:23 AM

Alot of ppl. do not know this, but the law is if an employee representing a company gives you a verbal or written quote, the company has to honor it! Soo, in this case the owners ARE responsible because of the employees mistake.!

Flag Reply +62 rate up
11 replies
wayne8734 May 26 2014 at 8:04 AM

After two yrs I hope he gets a large settlement!!!!!

Flag Reply +52 rate up
4 replies
Charlie May 26 2014 at 7:39 AM

We don't have to pay.... lt's an ex-employees fault.... go see him. Bull.

Flag Reply +36 rate up
11 replies
dwtomczyk May 26 2014 at 7:45 AM

raise your hands. How many of us get a notrizeded list of belongings before they go into storage?

Flag Reply +33 rate up
10 replies
Al May 26 2014 at 8:06 AM

Whether or not Pierce had an itemized list they are still responsible for the NEGLIGENCE, and GROSS NEGLIENCE, BREACH OF CONRACT, and they can proceed on that claim or just pay Mr. Pierce a good will payment. Why would the man lie about something like this. They are responsible for at least 10k of items which belong to this man for at least settle this. But trying to escape without paying anything would be quite foolish. BIG Al

Flag Reply +29 rate up
1 reply
jejozi Al May 26 2014 at 5:17 PM

Why would the man do that? Really? I'm not saying he's trying to scam the storage place, but I'm sure things like that have happened many, many times. As others have said, the aution house has to have records of what was sold, how much they received for the items and probably who bought the items. Hire alawyer and do what you have to do.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
1 reply
susan_christensen2014 jejozi May 27 2014 at 8:19 AM

The thing I keep thinking is, maybe he didn't have 10 grand in stuff stored in there, BUT... why would someone spend that kind of money every month, for a couple of years, just to store a tricycle? it would seem obvious that in order to make it worth renting a unit for 2 years, he must have had substantial belongings in there...

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ANGELIA May 26 2014 at 6:21 AM

Give him $10,000 and be done with it!

Flag Reply +28 rate up
10 replies
mouse May 22 2014 at 8:44 AM

He can sue for a certain amount but who is to say what that amount is? The storage place most likely had a "not responsible for loss or damage" in the contract. All he owned? The toys would have been outgrown. Family treasures can't be replaced and any pictures would have been thrown away by the buyers of the locker. He will have along road to travel, I do feel a bit sorry for him because he lost something that he valued or he wouldn't have stored it.

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10 replies
toomnycars May 26 2014 at 6:06 AM

It looks like the manager ate the stuff

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3 replies
frank.foreman May 26 2014 at 5:43 AM

Yet another victim of the judicial system and courts , taking weight off their shoulders , by allowing businesses security levity. While they have no experience , or a lack of common sense. Whose unit was not being paid for ? Well we don't know , so we are just going to sell the lot inside. We have authority to open the unit any time we can produce a reason to justify doing so. Hmm , interesting , "we have a right to open the unit - ANY TIME we CAN produce a reason to justify doing so. Interesting laws and practices.

Flag Reply +8 rate up
4 replies
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