Clam sauce, anyone? Tollefson storage units auctioned

Posted: February 26, 2014

IF DON TOLLEFSON was stashing his alleged ill-gotten gains, it sure as hell wasn't in the storage units he rented on Columbus Boulevard.

Not unless the former sports anchor was splurging on junk with all the money he'd allegedly collected from people who never got the tickets he'd promised.

"He was a hoarder!" a man speculated about Tollefson, 61, after peering into one of his storage units at Public Storage near Callowhill Street.

Old hockey sticks. A jar of Progresso white clam sauce. Rusted plaques. A "Wonder Years"-era radio. Crumpled magazines. A broken-down Chevy Blazer that looked as if John Goodman had taken a baseball bat to the windshield.

"It looks like a bunch of s---," another person concluded.

Tollefson's worldly possessions were auctioned off yesterday while he sat in Bucks County prison on felony charges of misappropriating more than $100,000 through a sports-ticket scam. Investigators say the charges filed last week likely only scratch the surface, but Tollefson's attorneys insist that it's a misunderstanding and that he had no criminal intent.

Cameras weren't allowed into the auction. Had they been, it would've been the worst episode of "Storage Wars" you ever saw. A couple dozen potential bidders were greeted by a surly employee named Tina who stayed locked in the office as the crowd grew. One guy had a Confederate flag on his hat. Another wore shorts.

"You never know what you're going to find," said Ron Trainor, 74, a retired gas-station operator from Voorhees with a gray chin-strap beard and tinted glasses. "He's been all over the place. He might have picked up stuff that's valuable," he said of Tollefson.

Trainor arrived two hours before the scheduled 11:30 a.m. auction, which started late. But he didn't bid.

"Trash," he said. "Disappointing."

Investigators also were unimpressed.

"We've already searched the buildings and found nothing of evidentiary value," said Ryan Hyde, Bucks County deputy district attorney. "Additionally, we were unable to find anything that appeared to be proceeds of his unlawful activity."

The contents of one Tollefson unit were purchased for $175. Another unit went for a surprisingly high $600. Bidders were not allowed inside the units, but could look from outside. Someone else plunked down $100 for Tollefson's old SUV in the back of the lot. No keys, with a 2002-03 press sticker still on the partially smashed windshield.

The cigar-chomping bidder who paid $600 declined to give his name. Asked what he hoped to find inside, he laughed.

"My ex-wife," he said.

Tollefson, who has been unable to post bail, has a preliminary hearing tentatively scheduled for March 6.

On Twitter: @wbender99

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