SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – When Patrick Rogalin returned home from his deployment to Iraq, he expected to find his belongings awaiting him, safe and secure in a Public Storage facility.
Instead, he was greeted by an empty storage locker, and a lot of bad luck.
When the 20-year-old Army Reservist found out he was headed to Iraq, he made sure his affairs were in order, including safely storing his personal possessions in a Public Storage unit near St. Louis.
Rogalin also set up automatic payments through his bank, knowing it would be difficult to manage from his overseas outpost, reported The Springfield News-Leader.
But when the future Army officer returned home, he discovered that the company had auctioned off his belongings, claiming the bill hadn't been paid.
"When I got back I called Public Storage to find out the status of my account and they told me the contents of my storage container had been auctioned off in June because the bill hadn't been paid," Rogalin told the newspaper.
An apparent identity thief gained access to Rogalin's checking account and wrote over $900 in fake checks, causing the automatic storage payments to be rejected.
Rogalin said he was never notified by Public Storage of the problems with his account, nor was he told his possessions were to be sold.
Rogelin is currently battling the company for compensation for his lost property, which included clothes, books, electronic equipment, furniture among other things. He estimates his property was worth $8,000, and says the company only offered him $2,000, and an apology.
Ron Ramler, regional vice president of Public Storage, said his company policy prevented him from talking about Rogalin's case.
"I can say that I am in communication with Patrick again to resolve it," Ramler told the News-Leader.