Storage locker empty after 17 years, who's to blame?

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Lakewood family is wondering how some of its possessions were thrown away by management of the apartment building where they've lived and stored belongings in the same locker for 17 years.

The Doan family came to the United States from Vietnam in 2000, looking for a better life for their son.

Language is a barrier in this case, so their son explained the situation.

Phuc Doan is the son of Hang and Viet Doan.

He said when his mother went to her assigned locker at the Oak Tree Manor in late October, there was nothing in the locker.

Hang and his mother went to the office and was told they'd get back to her in a business day.

They didn't, so she went back the next day and was told "sorry but you put it in the wrong locker and we pretty much had cleared it up."

The manager said the contents had been thrown in a dumpster and were gone.

Back at the apartment there are detailed records of what was lost.

By the mother's calculation, more than $7600 worth of items was thrown away.

"They have had these items for almost all their lives. They have saved these items since they were young and some of these items belong to my grandparents as well," Doan said.

Days later some of the items were returned, he said useless items like pots and pans. No sign of jewelry pieces.

The company, AIY Properties has offered only a one time $200 credit to the rent as restitution.

That offer came from Diane Smith.

"We're actually handling it.  No comment at this time. If they have any issues they can call me directly.  I'm done here thank you," Smith said.

In a subsequent email the owner of the management company reached out to Cleveland 19 saying proper notices of the storage area clean out had been posted and that there was no gold or jewelry in the locker.

Other contents were discarded because no one claimed them.

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