It seems like self-storage is becoming the go-to refuge for shady tenants involved with criminal activity. This week’s stories feature two bizarre incidences of unscrupulous tenants using storage for the wacky and weird.
Man Steals Corvette and Pays $70,000 in Self-Storage Fees
Back in 1989, gangsters forced an Irish immigrant to rob a bright red Corvette from a Chevrolet dealership in San Diego and immediately drive it to a San Diego storage facility. At the time, the thief’s rent was $50 per month. With his current rent at $300 per month, however, the crook decided he could no longer afford to make the payments.
The thief contacted a lawyer in September, who in turn reached out to San Diego auto theft detective Andrew Spear.
After receiving the call, Spear beelined to the storage facility, where records showed that the man had already spent $70,000 on storage fees over the past 23 years. When the management cut off the lock to the unit, Spear was shocked by what he saw: although the car was covered in dust and sitting on four flat tires, a quick tire inflation and car wash revealed a brand new Corvette with the original sticker price on the window and a mere 67 miles on the odometer.
Due to the fact that so much time had passed and the thief worked cooperatively with police, authorities decided not to place any charges.
Ownership of the automobile was given to the insurance company that reimbursed the Chevy dealership in 1989. The company subsequently sold it to Corky Rice in Glendale, an expert in buying and selling reposed cars. Rice listed the car on eBay, where it was purchased by an advertising executive in Newport Beach.
The Corvette sold for $39,471 on eBay–the manufacturer’s suggested retail price was clearly visible on the front window.
All things considered, this story has a happy ending. The thief avoided criminal charges, and somewhere in Newport Beach, an ad exec is zooming around in a vintage Corvette.
Tenant Sends Self-Storage Facility Up in Flames While Trying to Keep His Snakes Warm
In direct violation of his rental agreement, a Brentwood Self-Storage tenant rigged a heating system and stored six snakes inside a Chesapeake, VA self-storage unit. The tenant converted a 100-watt lightbulb into an energy source and ran an extension cord to several heat lamps in an attempt to provide warmth for his pet snakes.
A two-alarm fire broke out and destroyed 32 units before firefighters were able to control the blaze. According to firefighters, this fire was particularly formidable to contain; several tenants had their units packed to capacity, making it difficult to reach the fire in the depths of the units.
Many tenants are furious that this unscrupulous tenant is not being charged with a crime. Neither local law enforcement nor Animal Control are pursuing a case, as the tenant has been cooperative with investigators, and firefighters cannot definitively say what started the fire.
Brentwood Self-Storage tenant Margaret Bullock was especially distraught when she found her incinerated unit, which contained Christmas gifts for her 4-year-old twin boys and 11-year-old daughter. The storage facility and Deep Creek, Virginia community at large rallied around the Bullocks, donating gifts to their family so that they could have a Christmas.
Images courtesy of Lawrence K. Ho and wavy.com