Mother loses priceless belongings after storage center failed to follow its own rules

Mother loses priceless belongings after storage center failed to follow its own rules

SHAWNEE, KS (KCTV) – A Shawnee mother says she is out precious belongings all because a storage center failed to follow its own rules.

Kaleigh McAvoy had been storing her things at Public Storage, 12716 Shawnee Mission Pkwy, for just a couple of months and got a little behind in her payments.

She said she told the manager she would pay up within the next two weeks and did just that. But when she tried to get into her unit, not only was she locked out, her belongings were gone and very little of it can ever be replaced.

“It’s not fair they did this to me. I don’t want them to do this to other people,” McAvoy said.

McAvoy only kept a few plastic containers in her unit at Public Storage, but what was in them was priceless.

“I had about five or six containers with my son’s baby items. So hair from his first haircut, his hand and footprint from the hospital, first costume, baby book that I had written in and put pictures in … everything that was important to me that I was saving for him when he got older,” she said.

When the single mom realized she was going to be late with a payment, she immediately went to the manager and explained she needed another week or two. She said they told her no problem and noted it on her account.

McAvoy said on the week of Sept. 20, she paid her bill online.

“I paid my late fee online, and when I got there to put a couple items in storage the gate wouldn’t let me in,” she  said.

McAvoy said what happened next would leave her stunned and devastated.

“He called his manager and he said the district manager had come by and cut my lock and cleaned out my storage unit. Everything was gone,” she said.

McAvoy showed KCTV5 News her Public Storage contract.

“It says very clearly, 45 days or more they have to send you a letter letting you know your items were removed. You have ten days to come and claim them,” she said.

And McAvoy said she received nothing at all. She said the district manager only added salt to the wound.

“He basically told me when he opened my storage unit he deemed my stuff as not being worth very much, so he assumed I skipped out on the bill. But it was gone, so that was that,” she said.

KCTV5 tried to get in touch with the district manager on the phone several times and in person in both Shawnee and Overland Park. Both times we were told no one could talk.

“The thought of someone going through and grabbing items they could sell and throwing the rest away, that I can never get back, that’s really upsetting to me,” McAvoy said.

The only thing McAvoy was storing in the unit that wasn’t a memento from her little boy’s early years was the Wii she bought him that she was saving for Christmas.