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Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Rental Company Evicts Tenant By Mistake

Police: Rental company empties wrong apartment

Royston Sim
February 27, 2009

It was a shock when Edward Peterson returned to his downturn apartment last week to discover that it was stripped of everything, including shelves and drawers.

An hour or so later, police discovered that his landlord had cleaned out the apartment by mistake.

According to a Madison police report, Peterson, 36, returned to his apartment at 121 S. Han St. on Feb. 20 at 3 p.m. and found it emptied of all his furniture and belongings. He had left just five hours earlier, and everything was fine.

Peterson flagged down Madison Police Officer Nicholas Ellis in his squad car at 3:40 and he followed Peterson to his apartment to investigate what he assumed was a burglary.

The supposed burglar turned out to be Peterson's landlord at Hart Rentals, who had instructed a maintenance worker to clean out Peterson's apartment by mistake. Shirley Eckes, business manager of Hart Rentals, told Officer Ellis that the company wanted to clean out an apartment with the same number as Peterson's in a different building the company owns.

Maintenance man Dustin Sobacki told Ellis that he was already working in 121 S. Han on Feb. 20 when Eckes told him to clean out the apartment, the report said. Sobacki put all of Peterson's belongings into black garbage bags which he put into a trash bin on the east side of 121 S. Han.

Peterson recovered most of his property from the trash bin, the report said, and Hart Rentals returned Peterson's TV and TV remote, which Sobacki had kept in Hart Rental's maintenance office. Some items were still missing, however, including about 150 CDs with an estimated value of $1,500, a CD boom box, about $300 cash, approximately 100 astrology-related books; 10 DVDs, a cell phone and credit cards. Sobacki told Ellis that several people were outside the parking lot when he was moving items into the garbage and they may have taken some of Peterson's things.

According to the police report, Eckes told Officer Ellis that "whatever is missing from Peterson's apartment we will make him whole again." The report made no mention of criminal charges.

Peterson could not be reached for comment, and Eckes declined to comment on the incident when reached by The Capital Times.

Hope he knows a good attorney ....
One time a tow truck showed up at my door. I have no idea what he was there for (maybe a repo?) but he had the wrong address. I owned my Sonata and had the title. I assume they're given the make & model of the car as well as the address, but a lender should also have the VIN, just to make sure. Anyway, there was no problem, thank goodness, but these people are ready for a fight as soon as you walk outside. My cable has been turned off at least 3 times since I've lived here. Last time someone moved, it was turned off on a Friday and I had no picture. After convincing Comcast that my TV was plugged in and that I was 100% positive they goofed, the dispatcher apologized, but he couldn't get anyone to come back until Monday. Comcast gave me a 3 day credit, but that didn't matter to me because, after paying my bill on time for several years, I was without TV for the entire Thanksgiving weekend.   Anyway, my point is that this article doesn't surprise me too much.
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