Soldier Returns to Find Storage Unit Cleaned Out - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

01/31/06

Soldier Returns to Find Storage Unit Cleaned Out

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Croslin has only what he's bought since his return. Chief Warrant Officer Michael Croslin has only what he's bought since his return.

Imagine fighting for your country only to come home and find nothing. That's exactly what happened to one soldier from the Third Infantry Division, who has only been back in the states a couple of weeks.

Chief Warrant Officer Michael Croslin had a happy homecoming. That is, until he went to get his belongings out of storage and found an empty room.

In his spacious living room are a brand new computer, TV, and chair, but he's using a cardboard box for his coffee table.

"You can obviously see no microwave, no dining room table," he said, showing us around his nearly empty home. "Pretty empty."

He showed us the room "where my son would be staying at, but his furniture's gone too."

What he does have, he just bought. The only clothes he has are what he brought with him from Iraq, so he wears his Army issues.

"They cleaned me out," he told us. "They didn't leave bills, paperwork, pictures. It's all gone."

Who "they" may be is anyone's guess. All Croslin knows is that when he got back from deployment, "they" had gotten to him first.

"When I go to storage, I go in the back where I think my stuff is, and I notice my lock's gone and I notice a second lock is in its place," he said.

When he drilled through that lock, he wasn't surprised at all to find an empty compartment. He says from what he can see, there are some pretty big security problems at the U-Haul storage facility he used. "You can't have a storage facility and call it somewhat secure if the fences are broke down all around it."

His storage unit was in a part of the property that you need a separate key to get into. Croslin says he understands these things happen, but he thinks U-Haul could have done more to prevent it.

Croslin's homeowners insurance is covering most of what he lost, and he freely admits he declined any of the insurance U-Haul offered him.

We talked with U-Haul officials and they said no other units at that storage facility have reported any problems, and they're working on getting the fence line fixed up.

Reported by: Chris Cowperthwaite, ccowperthwaite@wtoc.com

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