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Auctions gone wrong Stolen Guns, Drugs, at Storage Lockers

Updated on April 14, 2016

A Day At The Storage Auction

Bidders gathering to inspect locker before auction.
Bidders gathering to inspect locker before auction.

When Abandon Storage Units Auctions Go Wrong

These are some of the worst situations I have found myself at storage auctions. It can be very uncomfortable when the owner of the locker are there watching there stuff get auctioned off. When people are losing their personal possessions emotions can really get heated up, I have heard threats directed at the auctioneer, bidders, and storage facility owners because they believe not enough was done to work things out so they could keep their belongings. It is not uncommon to be asked for some personal items out of the units after the auction such as military flags or personal pictures, I have always been glad to give these items back.

I have been told by facility owners that police routinely walk through there storage facilities with a drug sniffing dog looking for drugs, guns, and stolen merchandise. Many times you have know idea you have any of these things until you are home and begin the process of going through the boxes. Just imagine if you were pulled over by police and they found these things in your possession. This could become a major problem for you.

At one auction I witnessed three young young men getting very loud threatening the bidders. People in the crowd began whispered they were drug dealers trying to protect their drugs or guns in the locker. The auctioneer ended and closed the locker door because he feared for his and everyone's safety. The police were called in to investigate.

If you buy a unit at a auction and find guns inside you are not allowed to just keep them. All storage facility will make you sign in before the auction with your drivers license. Some will make you sign a terms of sale stating you must turn all guns into the police or federal authorities.

Be sure to ask for a receipt for the guns if you hope to have any chance to get them back, laws differ greatly from state to to state so check them out. If you were thinking it might be a good idea keep them just remember the former owners might at any time call the police and notify them there were guns in the unit at the time of the auction, if that happens you will be contacted by police.

Abandon Storage Unit Auction: Watch This Video Below

This video demonstrates in my opinion all the classic signs of a fixed storage auction. I am going to point out a couple obvious concerns. It is always a bad sign to see all the lockers opened up like this before the auction. At a legitimate auction you are never going to see this many lockers with indenical looking boxes and merchandise, especially if the lockers are in different peoples names. What I see is locker after locker filled with identical looking boxes with the same color straps and garbage bags. Amazing it looks like the same person owns every locker.

In my opinion, everything I see in these units looks like it came out of salvage containers, or a dime or drug store dumpster. Now we come to the scooters, I believe they were brought in as bait to get the marks (meaning you) to the auction. I find it unbelievable that the people losing these scooters decided, now that we have lost all these brand new scooters. "Why don't we take a drive over to the storage company and drop off all the keys and titles" to make it easy for the storage company to sell them. Not going to happen.

After The Auction Nightmare

After the auction, I have had a storage facility managers on behalf of the former owners call me trying to buying back either the whole unit or specific items. Never give a storage facility permission to give away your direct contact information to the old owners. If the former owners of the locker are angry they now have your phone number and possibly a way to find your address. The last thing you want is some stranger walking up on you at home while you are unloading the contents, or knocking on your door in the middle of the night wanting their stuff back. This would raise many other security concerns for you, your family and property.

I have on occasions sold things back to the previous owners that were said to be family heirlooms. I have never done this directly I would usally hired a friend to bring items back to the storage facility to meet the buyer with the full knowledge and view of the storage facility staff. Frankly, I don't recommend doing this but the good news is so far it has worked out well for all parties concerned.

Don't Be A Human Victory Cigar

Never bid on units like this. I have been to a number of auction where they would not let you see what was inside the locker. In other words, a closed door auction. Of coarse they will never mentioned this in their newspaper storage auction lien notice because people wouldn't show up to the auction if they did. There is nothing worse than driving 20 miles only to find out this is the method they are going to auction off the locker. At one such auction I attended everyone their was upset and complaining this was some kind of rip off. Most knew better and did not bid, but you know the old saying there's "a sucker born every minute" willing to gamble and bid on these units.

I am never one that likes to miss a good laugh. So, I stay behind after the auction to watch the new owners rollup the locker doors to claim their treasures. Well, all I can say is I hope they like Christmas decorations, old clothes, broken furniture and tires. Every locker was filled with the same garbage. It was funny listening to the guy moaning and groaning as he looked through the locker. The guy said to me, if it were not for the 50.00 cleaning deposit he would just leave the junk there".

Meanwhile, the Storage facility owners are back at the office popping champagne and lighting up a victory cigar. It never ceases to amaze me the creative ways storage facilities come up with to rip you off. Needless to say, I never went back to that auction again.

This Article Is Part 1 Of 2

Please visit Auction Gone Wrong Stolen Guns And Drugs Bidding Tips Part 2. Thanks for reading.

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    • Hezekiah profile image

      Hezekiah 4 years ago from Japan

      Interesting, but mad risky. Buying and not knowing what you are getting.