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.