Deployed Soldier's Valuables Stolen from Storage - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/06/05

Deployed Soldier's Valuables Stolen from Storage

When you put something into a storage unit and lock it up, it's probably with confidence the things you put there will be safe and secure. But unfortunately that isn't always the case. A Third ID soldier recently had all of his valuables--locked in storage--stolen.

Like thousands of other soldiers, Apache pilot Scott Durrer put all his possessions in storage when he deployed to Iraq in January. It wasn't until he came home last month for some R and R that he realized almost everything he had in there was gone.

"I almost started crying," said Kelly Underberg, Durrer's girlfriend. The two couldn't believe their eyes when they opened his storage unit at Abercorn Lock and Storage on September 12. Everything they boxed up was gone.

Underberg itemized some of the losses: "Letters from his grandma, she passed away August 1, he'll never get more letters from her. Tennis rackets from high school. Military uniforms, his dress blues, his certificates and medals and all the things he accomplished in the military are gone. Right down to a plastic Elvis lamp."

Since Durrer had to go back to Iraq, Underberg has been working with police to recover his things. So far no luck.

"Unfortunately in the society we live in, you have to protect yourself," said Abercorn Lock and Storage owner Drew Ambos. He says Durrer should have had storage insurance and a better lock.

Bolt cutters easily cut through Durrer's combination lock.

The company has a rental agreement that Durrer signed which states it is not responsible for anything lost, stolen or damaged. And they have his signature waiving storage insurance.

But the only real person to blame is the person who stole all of Durrer's stuff. "I think it's disgusting, I think it's dirty and low," said Underberg. "And people are fighting for our country and freedom to live in the US and you have to rob them of their livelihood. It's absolutely ridiculous."

Drew Ambos has only owned the storage facility for a few months and, like police, isn't sure when the crime happened. He believes it was an isolated incident, but that hasn't stopped him from increasing security. He has security cameras, and is working on a new password system to get into the facility.

Police managed to get a partial fingerprint from the scene, but that's it. Underberg hopes someone will come forward with information.

Reported by: Michelle Paynter, mpaynter@wtoc.com

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