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Local couple upset over storage unit break-in

GREAT-AMERICAN-STORAGE

The name of the business is Great American Mini Storage in Palm Desert.

But, Mike and Ellen Stutz say the business is not so great.

"This company is not responding in anyway to something I think they're totally responsible for," said Stutz. 

Now retired, Stutz is the former General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast, the parent company of News Channel 3.

Over the course of his career, his honors included two Edward R. Murrow awards for and two Emmy awards, all of which were among the items Stutz says were stolen from his unit.

"One of those Murrows was given to me by Walter Cronkite.  You'd miss that wouldn't you?," asked Stutz.

The couple says a total of six boxes were stolen, out of a total of 14 they stored, and everything they stored, Ellen says they wrote down on a numbered list.

Other things taken included antique plates, photos of Stutz with presidents and celebrities, other memorabilia, and some household items.

"Someone got into this unit, the only one that was hit, that had a lock on it," said Stutz.

Stutz says on January 18th, just a few days after they rented the unit, they received a call from the facility manager, saying the lock was gone from their unit.  Later that day, the couple went back to the business, to find boxes were missing.

After filing a police report, the couple says the business has only given them the "run around", and was not providing satisfactory answers to their questions. 

Stutz says when they first came to Great American Mini Storage, there were signs on the front gate indicating there were surveillance cameras set up around the facility.  But, after the theft, the signs were taken down.

Stutz says after talking with one representative for Great American Mini Storage, he was left convinced the storage site did not  have cameras installed.

"The company advertised that they had cameras on location, so we felt good about storing our stuff here," said Stutz. 

The couple has asked the company to reimburse them $1,000, enough to cover what they paid the company, and to cover the cost for three months of storage at a new facility.

"The way I've been treated by this company just amplifies my anger about what happened," said Stutz. 

We spoke with a district manager for the parent company of Great American Mini Storage who says he is "looking into the complaint". 

Tom Tucker

Tom Tucker is a veteran broadcast journalist with nearly 20 years of experience. Learn more about Tom here.

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