Military Families belongings being auctioned off in Portsmouth Va. as being “unclaimed”
by Bay Area Movers and Gene Daniels’s Auctions
ON SITE Auction-Sat. May 6th at 9 AM Bay Area Mover’s Inc. 1-Victory Ct. Portsmouth, VA 23702 Unclaimed Government/Military Appx 105 Storage Containers.
Container Doors will be removed minutes before bidding.
UPDATE: This response is from the Virginia State Police who were asked to comment and indicate if they would intercede with this auction:
“The Virginia State Police has no jurisdiction over the United States military, which is a federal entity, not a state entity.” – Corinne Geller, spokesperson for the Virginia State Police
This response to the Facebook advertisement of Gene Daniels Auctions was from one poster which could also be applied to the Virginia State Police:
Ann Vaseliades You contact the moving company, refuse to auction their items, and demand they find the rightful owners. Don’t screw military families.
UPDATE: This statement was posted on the Facebook page of the auction company which has now deleted the post after being inundated with angry posts by the hundreds. The auction company still has the auction advertised on their website.
“Gene Daniels Auctions is simply the Agent for Bay Area Movers, Inc. and has NO Information regarding concerns of the crates. For Information, please contact Bay Area Movers, Inc. at 757-487-5550.”
*Bay Area Movers, Inc.*
Saturday, May 6th at 9 AM
1 Victory Court
Portsmouth, VA 23702
Approximately “105” Standard Shipping Containers
Total Weight 78,180 Lbs.
All from US Government/Military
At Time of Auction
*Some Sold as an Entire Home, Some Sold Individually*
This will be a CASH ONLY Auction!
Unclaimed Shipments from Overseas…These Shipments are unclaimed household goods / personal property of military members who were stationed in locations such as Italy, Germany, Spain and Bahrain. Many Military members take advantage of their time stationed in these faraway places and purchase unique furniture pieces and decorative items handcrafted in these countries. HIDDEN TREASURES...The contents of the shipments have not been seen and containers have been sealed since originally packed overseas. The shipment(s) you bid on may contain such items as antique furniture, china, crystal, artwork, TV’s and other electronics or possibly collectors’ items.
For More Info, Listing and Pictures Visit: GeneDanielsAuctions.com
The public is irate and posting on Facebook as well as contacting media. Somewhere in the Pentagon, there is a mid-level bozo bureaucrat who could have ordered everything to be opened and inspected in order to reunite the belongings with the families from whom the items were removed. An update on this story, including a response from Virginia State Police and Portsmouth Sheriff about what actions they will take to prevent these items from being stolen at auction – will be provided when possible.
THIS ARTICLE IS FROM SPOUSEBUZZ.COM
The military family social media space went wild today when an auction company in Chesapeake, Virginia advertised an upcoming auction of 105 containers of over 78,000 lbs of “Unclaimed Shipments from Overseas” belonging to military members and stored at Bay Area Movers, Inc. The Facebook post advertising the auction has since been deleted.
“These Shipments are unclaimed household goods / personal property of military members who were stationed in locations such as Italy, Germany, Spain and Bahrain,” the Gene Daniels Auctions site said. “The contents of the shipments have not been seen and containers have been sealed since originally packed overseas.”
In three hours the Facebook post sharing the auction had over 830 shares and over 300 comments, most of the readers in disbelief.
Many military family commenters immediately worried that what is up for auction are missing crates that had simply never been delivered to military families. After all, we’ve all been there. You move and stuff simply disappears — and it seems to do so at alarming rates. Everyone has a story about missing stuff, or, almost worse, getting a delivery of something that is not yours, only to be told to just keep it.
While officials at Surface and Deployment Distribution Command (SDDC) are still looking into this for me, I was able to speak with Jean McRrae, one of the owners of Bay Area Movers Inc. According to her, the auctioneers’ description of what they are selling is misleading. This is not really unclaimed shipments, she said — instead, it’s more like unclaimed temporary storage items.
“Some of this storage we’ve had since the early 1990’s,” she said.
Bay Area Movers has never had an auction since it opened in 1984, she said — but with peak PCS season coming up, they are in desperate need of storage space, so they need to clear out containers that have been there a long time, about 50 individuals’ items.
According to the joint travel regulations, items go in temporary storage or “storage in transit” for up to 90 days, although troops can request and get an extension up to 180 days. After time runs out it’s up to the service member to either arrange delivery or continue to pay for storage. Troops are notified by mail by their on-base transportation office that their storage time is up.
But those items can then hit the auction block if the service member doesn’t pay his storage bill, McRae said. In that case, Virginia law requires that they make three attempts at contacting the owners via certified mail. If no response is received, the items can be sold. McRae said they also have worked to contact the owners by other means, even tracking down a former service members’ parents.
“I actually got in touch with a guy last year, we looked him up on the internet, couldn’t find him. But who we actually found was his mother and father,” who lived in Tennessee, she said. “He had 17,000 lbs that had been in storage for 15 years. … he came with a Uhaul and he picked it up.”
Another woman who had received the certified letter came in today to arrange to get her items, she said.
“We sent her a letter and she got it. She came in on a walker — we had made a partial delivery to her in 1992,” she said. “She lived in Maryland and she drove all the way down here.”
McRae said when she did not charge either person storage fees dating back to when they failed to pay their bills, working instead to “come to an arrangement” for payment, she said.
She said she has been frustrated by the reaction on social media but understands why people feel the way they do.
“I mean I understand. It’s gotta be horrible moving around like that,” she said. “Your stuff gets lost, it gets damaged, so I understand the frustration.”
In the meantime, those of us who have been overseas recognized the new style stickers from Gosselin Movers from Italy which don’t match with these crates being older. Plus you can see a pack out date in April 2017 stamped on a crate. Some of us recognize some of these names and trying to track down these servicemembers.
Ali Smith As an “agent” all you’re doing is profiting from the loss of other people. This is no way ethical or honest like your business model states on your website.
If you wanted to make this right you would of turned this information over to the police. Or refused to sell the possessions of people who are disadvantaged.
Amy Jane This is unethical! Selling military family possessions that got “lost” in transition. Not enough is done to make the losses right. More often than not, these families don’t even get compensated, oh and 10% really! As if that is sufficient. But business is business, right?
Let’s continue to get over on the military families and make good profit off their sacrifices.
“Unclaimed Shipments from Overseas…These Shipments are unclaimed household goods / personal property of military members who were staioned in locations such as Italy, Germany, Spain and Bahrain. Many Military members take advanta…See More