West Seattle

Storage war: Man's victory in storage-unit auction turns sour

SEATTLE -- One man's victory turned into some sort of storage war* when the storage unit he won at auction was immediately burglarized, possibly by a known criminal associate of its former owner.

According to the Seattle Police Department's report for the incident, the victim won the unit in a storage facility in the 2900  block of Southwest Avalon Way for $700 May 20. Before leaving, the victim secured the unit with a lock from the facility plus one of his own locks.

The next day, the victim returned to the unit to find it almost entirely empty. His lock was still on the unit, but the facility's lock was gone.

According to the report, neither the victim nor police can figure out how someone got into the unit as the victim's lock showed no sign of being damaged.

The victim told officers a man approached him immediately after he won the unit and said he knew the unit's previous owner. The man said there were some items inside the unit its previous owner had stolen from him.

This same man, a known "metal scraper" and burglar, called 911 during the auction because the person running it had kicked him out, according to the report.

In addition, an employee told police the man has a storage unit near the one burglarized.

Police tried to get security footage of the burglary. But, apparently someone messed with the camera pointing at the burglarized unit months ago, and it has not yet been fixed.

*I apologize for the lack of references to the television program "Storage Wars" in this article; I have never actually seen it. This despite the fact world-class human being Tom Hanks apparently loves it.