Storage units serve so many purposes. Some function as offices in this tough economic climate, others as rec rooms for men who need an escape from their wives & kids, and every now and then the quiet darkness of a storage unit is transformed into a tomb. In this case, a storage unit in Portland, Oregon was used for its namesake purpose: storage. However in this instance the items being stored were $20′s, $50′s and $100 dollar bills amounting to over $1,000,000. The unit was being used as a vault for money procured by one Bobby Thompson, a Navy Veteran and alleged con artist. Authorities claim Thompson procured the million-plus dollars as part of a faux charity operation entitled “U.S. Navy Veterans Association” in Tampa, FL. Not content to merely be a philanderer, Thompson also maintained several stolen identities and their assorted paperwork (including birth certificates). Much evidence of which was located in the same storage unit. Thompson was apprehended in a Boston Bar after a six-month long search by authorities, including the U.S. Marshals Service and Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation. One of Thompson’s three wallets held a license for one “Alan Lacy”, which quickly led authorities to the storage unit bearing the incriminating evidence as well as the exorbitant amount of cash. The scariest element of the whole story? Bobby Thompson isn’t this criminals real name, and his true identity remains unknown!
In this day and age, news stories related to the Self-Storage industry are generally macabre and crime-ridden. Many criminals see storage facilities as the perfect place to store stolen good, drugs, cash, weapons, child pornography and even bodies. The upside of encountering these reports, however, is that the culprits are being apprehended and charged for their crimes. Self-Storage companies often boast about the security of their facilities, often displaying the view of their multiple security cameras from behind their reception desk. It’s curious then, just how many criminals think they’re going to get away with their nefarious plots when they’re obviously having their every move recorded. In this particular case of criminal activity behind the gates of a storage facility, one individual’s crimes were vast and numerous and the storage unit full of $1,000,000 cash was just one aspect of his overall crimes. Aside from the money stashed away in small bags, authorities discovered a sawed-off shotgun. Not content to regulate his criminal activity to the storage unit he purchased, the culprit’s home would prove quite interesting and fruitful to the investigating agents. Inside the dwelling in South Brisbane, Australia were steroids, several kilograms of either speed or cocaine, a taser and a semi-automatic handgun. This whole ordeal was uncovered when the man tried to dodge a traffic checkpoint , when police caught up with him he was discovered to be carrying a knife and fifty grams of what authorities concluded was either speed or “Crystal” meth. While stories such as these seem far-fetched and torn from the pages of a 1980’s crime novel, each new day brings to light further atrocities and crimes being committed with the aid of a storage locker. Perhaps this deluge of information will bring to light to the fact that storage facilities are equipped with the technology to catch active criminals and will discourage similar knaves from attempting to mask their crimes at self storage facilities.
When the Beach Boys sang, “Don’t Worry Baby, Everything Will Be
Alright”, they didn’t realize just how applicable those lyrics would be to the
buyer of a storage unit in Florida decades down the road. A Beach Boys fans’ dream storage unit went up
for auction after its renter defaulted on the storage payments. A couple of
local music promoters gambled away a few hundred dollars on the unit, the
contents of which may net upwards of ten million dollars. “This archive is like
the Bible of the Beach Boys career,” said Ted Owen of the auction house ‘Fame
Bureau’, and due to its sheer volume it’s safe to say that’s an accurate
comparison. The collection of sheet music, photographs and handwritten lyrics
is purely overwhelming, encompassing some 150 songs and represents a
significant moment in music history.
Photos of the band on their travels offer a rare glimpse into the lives
of these future icons of Pop music and seem impossible to be valued, but
$10,000,000 ought to do the band and their works justice.