Recruit’s Belongings Thrown In The Trash

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KALAMAZOO, Mich. – A local recruit will return home from Marine boot camp to find that all of his belongings have been thrown in the dumpster.

Brenda Clifford said her son, Trey Clifford, enlisted in the Marines back in December of 2012. She said he was living at The Bronco Club Apartment complex in Kalamazoo when he found out that he would be heading to California for training in April.

Brenda said her son gave his apartment complex 30 days notice, then made a payment, covering his rent for the entire month of April.

When Trey left on April 22, his family went to pick his belongings up from his apartment and bring them home. However, when they arrived on the following day, the locks on the door had been changed, and their son’s stuff had already been moved out.

“Basically, they said, ‘well, all of his stuff is gone. We threw it all in the dumpster,'” Brenda said.

Brenda said the Bronco Club told her they had to clean out the apartment because they had a new tenant coming in on May 1. She said her son’s entire wardrobe was in the apartment, along with several pairs of shoes, hunting clothes and snowboard gear.

“He’s got his football jersey, his basketball jersey, things that can’t be replaced,” she said.

FOX 17 stopped by The Bronco Club, but the office was closed, so we left a message. It went unanswered. However, when we called on Wednesday the manager answered. She declined to comment on the situation.

Then, Brenda said a couple weeks after learning their son’s stuff was gone, they got another surprise: a letter from the apartment indicating that they were keeping Trey’s $200 deposit, plus a bill for an additional $66. Part of that bill, included a cleaning and disposal fee, things Brenda said the family was going to take care of the day they went to the apartment.

“If they would’ve called and said ‘do you have all your stuff out?’ We would’ve said ‘no’ and came to get it out,” Brenda said.

Trey has not been told about the incident because his family is not able to contact him until he comes home in July.

In the meantime, the family said they’ve hired an attorney.

“It’s aggravating to us. Not even so much as an apology [from the apartment],” Brenda said.

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48 comments

  • barefootin

    this burns me up!!!! he is out protecting each of us putting his life on the line for us and this is how he is treated by a complex. i hope the lawyer throws the complex out to a dumpster like they did to him !!!!

  • Krystle Strang

    As a PROUD ARMY WIFE this not only bothers me but also makes me sick. They had no right to do that to him. His rent was paid up. I would tell people to not go to that apartment complex. They have no respect for anyone. Just makes me sick.

  • MeNoDo

    Something about this story stinks. His stuff was thrown out and the family can't contact him? But they know he paid rent for that month? I could not imagine this (business) place, putting itself in this kind of jeopardy. I'll wait for the rest of the story.

    • brenda

      To DoNoDo, obviously youve never served in any branch of the service or you would know that a recruit CAN NOT be contacted unless its an emergency situation such as illness/death of a family member for 3 month other than mail. I personally dont want to stress my son out with this since he is training to protect YOU and I,….i paid the rent myself, did you not see the the bank statement???? It surprises me that you cant believe a business that makes money off people would do this, especially to someone who they think will not know about it for over # months. But hey thanks for showing your concern for my son and for the Marine that will be fighting for you and your family : )

      Read more: https://fox17online.com/2013/05/14/recruits-belong

        • brenda

          No your not…I apologize for being snippy…everyone has there own opinion…my frustration is getting the best of me! I assure you we are not hiding anything, is a simple as we are saying. My son left for boot camp on the 22nd, his rent was paid up to the 3oth, when we went to move his stuff out and clean we were informed that they figured since he left already it was ok to clean it out because they had another tennant ready to move in. Its as simple as that…

  • Laura

    I live at the bronco club and this place is horrible. It is ran horrible and I can’t wait to move out. Completely disgusted.

  • jenny p

    It is illegal for a landlord to enter a tenant's apartment without the proper notice. Blatant criminal activity, even worse that it happened to a serviceman! disgusted…

  • sarah

    If they had an issue for him not paying and he faced eviction, the apartment complex would have to go through all the legal obligations, which include giving the tenant a timely notice. However, he's rent was paid up, management had no right to do this.

  • Brenda Clifford

    To DoNoDo, obviously youve never served in any branch of the service or you would know that a recruit CAN NOT be contacted unless its an emergency situation such as illness/death of a family member for 3 month other than mail. I personally dont want to stress my son out with this since he is training to protect YOU and I,….i paid the rent myself, did you not see the the bank statement???? It surprises me that you cant believe a business that makes money off people would do this, especially to someone who they think will not know about it for over # months. But hey thanks for showing your concern for my son and for the Marine that will be fighting for you and your family : )

    • semperfi

      but obviously she knows a little more than you do because if he were in Irag it would be easier to contact him than it is in boot camp. anyone who has served as a Marine knows its 3 months of hell!!! Obviously YOU have never served our country either or you wouldn't be slamming a fellow Marine….Semper Fi….

  • tracy

    Ok people lets get the word out everyone needs to move from this dump and aslo let them go Bankrupt .
    I am so mad that they would do this to A MAN SERVING OUR COUNTRY FORGET THE FAMILY GETTING AN ATTORNEY THE STATE CITY AND FEDERAL OFFICIALS NEED TO GET ON THIS AND MAKE SURE THEY PAY DEEPLY FOR WHAT THEY HAVE DONE.
    AND PLEASE DONT ANYONE TAKE THIS WRONG BUT WHOEVER WORKS FOR THESE OWNERS AND THE OWNERS ARE NOT AMERICANS I COULD CARE A LESS WHATEVER THEIR NATIONALITY THEY ARE NOT AN AMERICAN IF THEY CAN DO THIS JUST FOR WHAT HIS RENT WAS PAID UP BUT JUST SO THEY COULD GET SOMEONE IN RIGHT AWAY.
    WHAT DO THEY THINK WOULD HAPPEN IF WE HAD NO ONE SERVING OUR COUNTRY SO WE CAN BE FREE TO OWN BUSINESS.
    THESE OWNERS ARE SCUM AND CAN KISS MY ASS THEY DO NOT DESERVE TO BE IN THE UNITED STATES NO MATTER WHO OR WHAT THEY ARE

  • Justmyopinion

    There are always two sides to every story, and without comment from the apartment complex, the viewers do not have a complete story. No one seems to question the list of damages on that letter the mother showed. Why would toilets have to be replaced? Why would mini-blinds have to be replaced and why only 1/3 of the cost? Were there others living there sharing the rent? Fox17 didn't really do a thorough job on this, and probably should not of aired it until facts were in.

    • brenda

      Totally disagree…of course that’s beause I am the mom…lol. those are good questions and had we been able to get into the apartment we would have known, but since the locks had been changed before the lease ended we would have no idea. is it because the toilets were dirty, broken? But we too have not gotten any answers when we call. When the reporter went to the complex, on a business day when they should have been opened, the doors were locked, although there are several cars in the parking lot, she left a message that day, it was early in the day, around 1:30 in the afternoon when she was there. As well as calling back the next morning to have someone answer the phone, when she told them ho she was she was told management was not available. The reporter has kept me very informed before the story aired, I would have liked answers also, when I called on May 6th, to ask questions about the charges, I was hung up on…..

    • tclynch

      We will never know if things were really broken or not. His parents were not given the opportunity to go in and clean and take pics to prove how they left the apt. The apt complex could come up with pics from any apt now and say it was his. I bet not all his stuff was dumped. It will probably end up on craigslist and ebay.

  • John

    Brenda, since you have a paid statement through the 30th, they (Bronco Club) are going to owe your son/you (whoever is on the lease) for everything they threw away, plus court costs and fees! This is a civil "tort" because they financially harmed your son. I recommend seeking small legal advice on how you can become his Power of Attorney and have him sign over once you are able to contact him in a couple of months, since he will be unable to attend any proceedings. This is a very simple small claims court case if you have the bank statement and a copy of the lease.

  • John

    Brenda, the apartment complex also cannot use your son's security deposit for "normal wear and tear" (paint and other normal replacements/happenings when a tenant vacates); possibly not for the toilet either, unless they somehow can prove they ruined them (big holes in them or something along those lines). Additionally, all of the money withheld from a security deposit can only reimburse for damages (so, make sure they actually replaced the things he is being charged for.

    • brenda

      Also, since this story was reported we received another list of cahrges, actually much better than the first letter. It shows that they reimbersed my son $97 for the last weeks rent. Charges were the same the only difference is the $97. It also says that my son gave his notice on January 2, 2013, which is impossible since my son signed up under the delayed entry program ~ a recruit has up to a year to change there mind ~ also impossible for him to tell them when he was leaving in January since his leave date changed I’m March. I’m not doubting he told the complex he had signed up, just saying it is impossible for him to have given them an exact date at that time….

      • brenda

        Someone asked if there were 3 roommates…yes there were.all 3 had seperate leases. One left earlier than my son for the Marines and is still in boot camp also. I have no idea what his arrangements were with the management. I just spoke with the other yesterday…he had received a call from the management on the 19th of april and was told he needed to get his stuff out that weekend. Since he was not going into the service he would be charged a breaking the lease fee, but if he could get out that weekend he would not be charged the $500.

          • Tammi S.

            No she was saying they got out of the lease without the charge. The other would have been charged the 500 dollar fee because he wasnt going into the military. There is a law that says you have to let military people out of their leases if it is for moving reasons.

  • nadin

    IF HE PAID HIS RENT FOR APRIL THEY HAD NO RIGHT TO ENTER OR CHANGE LOCKS TILL THE FIRST OF MAY AND THEN ISNT IT YOU HAVE TO GIVE NOTICE TO RENTER LIKE A 10 DAY VACATE OR COME GET YOUR BELONGINGS, THIS IS THE APARTMENT COMMUNITY THESE DAYS THEY DONT CARE ABOUT THE TENANT BUT THE DOLLAR..AND THINK THEY ARE ABOVE THE LAW, I HOPE HE RECOVERS FINANCIALLY FROM THIS PLACE, THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP WILL NEVER RENT FROM THEM..GOOD LUCK AND GOD BLESS AND THANK YOUR SON FOR SERVING OUR COUNTRY!!!!!!!

    • Tammi S.

      It takes a great deal of bravery to even consider signing up for the armed forces. I think just by doing that he is serving his country. Why are you hiding behind a fake name? Why don't you use your real name? If what you say is true you should have no problem backing up your word?

  • MichelleK

    If you read news stories or even listen to the news frequently you will see/hear retractions and corrections on a daily basis. Why? Because the media jumps the gun on stories BEFORE they have the WHOLE truth!! I have seen/heard it so much lately it makes me sick, especially when it comes to people personal lives. Just recently with the death of a family member. Like Dr. Phil says often, "there are two sides to every story and then there's the truth" Don't believe everything you read or hear…most times unless you know for a fact it's the truth, it isn't. I am sorry for your son, and the family having to go through this…Our son is going into basic in Sept. luckily he lives with us as he is graduating HS next month and we won't be throwing his stuff out!! I hope it is all cleared up soon for you Brenda and that he is compensated for what they threw away, I am sure some is irreplaceable and that is sad…these complexes are all about money and turning over units as fast as possible :(

    • Adam

      They delayed running the story so they could wait for a reply from the apartment complex but none came. You can't get both sides of the story if one side won't tell it.

  • nadin

    i am fighting also an apartment complex for carpet replacement, they think i am dumb I guess, i lived there 2 yrs normal wear and tear and got the apt since the carpet had some damage and spots when i moved it, they told me next tenant will have new carpet now they want me to buy it lmbo…not a chance in hell these complexes are jokes they think they are above the law, get what is owed and know that karma is a well ya know.

  • Bluguinea

    Brenda, I pray for you and your son. I would hope you have an excellent lawyer, so that you and your son could come out ahead of this GREEDY Bronco Club. Hang in there. They are in the WRONG!

  • Lobbezoo

    If the apartment complex is in the wrong the family should contact the command where he is in boot camp. The military has a legal department that can help with this issue. Have they filled out a police report for the fact that his property was illegally removed from his residence which constitute theft, right? They definitely need to at least contact his command and see if they feel that he should be informed of this. This is from a Marine, and they stand up for each other and are familiar with rental citations that occur as a result of military service, which there are federal that affect housing with service personal under orders.

    • brenda

      Thank you for your comments, we have spoken to his recruiter and they are sending me a copy of his orders. As you know by the service members relief act he has to give them a copy of his orders and pay for an entire next month. It would be unlawful for him to get out of his lease in the middle of the month, he has to pay the entire month regardless if he will be in the apartment or not, unless it is in writing by both parties, which it was not. If I am incorrect on this please let me know….

  • Tammi S.

    This is so rude. Why would you go out of your way to look up this story just to leave a nasty comment? If you do know them personally and support Trey in what he is doing then maybe you should be doing something to help him in his time of need instead of sitting around badmouthing his parents.

    • Tclynch

      I don't think your comments are supportive at all. Obviously you have an ax to grind with Trey's Mom, but making rude comments to her on this forum is mean and spiteful. Weather you like it or not ,he loves his parents . Period. You attacking his Mother does not make you sound any better than you say she is. if you don't have anything nice to say,remain silent. Show your character and support Trey by sending care packages , notes, not by spreading hate.

  • brenda

    Thanks Ruth or Mitchelle!! You have both been warned by the cops to stay away from my family, that includes internet!!! do i need to go back to the police because they CAN find out who sent this!!!Unfortionatly the thing I have to get used to is my son is fighting for everyone, even loud mouth trouble makers like you!!!! one more time you two….STAY AWAY FROM MY FAMILY!!!!

  • michellehater

    Tammi dont even worry about it, I think its Treys ex's mom talking and her sister…Treys anger issue was a dead give away…Trey broke up with her because she was cheating on him with 3 different guys, mom said she didnt want trash like that at her house so now her family hates my mom…Blow her off, like we do she a drama queen! I didnt even think they were this pathetic but I guess I was wrong…

  • brenda

    this is Brenda Clifford, I would like to Thank everyone for such great support, Trey is going to be so happy that so many people here is Michigan support what he is doing…I would also like to apologize for the baligerant person on here who feels the need to slam me. She is a woman we have known for about 5 years who just can’t seen to let the past go. She knows no more than any of us do about the situation with my son even though she let’s on like she does. Just the fact that she is turning something that should be about my son into something about herself shows her character. She has been posting slanderous things on many of the links to this news report…I assure everyone I have never sued anyone in the past, nor has my son ever gotten an mip for having drunkin parties, if he had he wouldn’t have been able to join the Marines.

  • KALAMAZOO

    IF THIS IS A TRUE STORY THEN IT IS SUCH A DISAPPOINTMENT! HOW COULD AN APARTMENT TOTALLY DISREGARD A MEMBER OF OUR MILITARY. THE ONLY THING IS, FROM THESE COMMENTS ON HERE, I DON'T KNOW WHO TO BELIEVE. THIS BRENDA SOUNDS KIND OF SHADY. WHAT ARE YOU SITTING THERE WATCHING YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN WAITING FOR SOMEONE TO RESPOND? IF IT WAS MY KID I WOULD NOT RESPOND TO ALL THE PEOPLE THAT OBVIOUSLY HAVE PRIOR INVOLVEMENT WITH YOU. IT MAKES YOU SOUND DRAMATIC AND UNPROFESSIONAL. SOMEONE MADE A GOOD POINT EARLIER THAT WHY DIDN'T HE TAKE CARE OF IT HIMSELF? SOUNDS LIKE MOMMY AND DADDY WERE EXPECTED TO DO THIS A LOT. I WOULD BET ON IT. I GUESS WE WILL HAVE TO WAIT FOR THE TRUTH TO SURFACE.

    • Tammi S.

      Or maybe their son was leaving for the Marines and they offered to help get his stuff and clean up so he wouldn't have to worry about it. I would do the same thing for my son. Also, why are you writing in ALL CAPS? There is no need to shout ;)

      • brenda

        Thank you, that is exactly what happened. Our son was leaving for 3 months and woulnt see or talk to family and friends for 3 month….

    • brenda

      Sorry I’m just getting to respond to this, I work. But I try to respond to as many commments as I can, if someone takes the time to ask a question, I should take the time to respond, even to the nagative ones. I’m sorry if you don’t have the time to respond for your kids…I make time for my kids…but everyone parents differently. I would do ANYTHING for my kids…I’m sorry for your kids that you wouldn’t. Maybe that’s why my kids have turned out so great. My son has never had been in trouble for anything,football 4 years, basketball 4 years,baseball 3 years, snow coming court twice in High school….and now he is serving you and I as a United States Marine…so ya I think we did pretty darn well as parents!

  • MellowYellow

    Someone please tell that woman that her hair looks like roadkill. I have seen better hairdos on the zombies in the Walking Dead. For the sake of humanity PLEASE do something with that mop. Disgusting! oh and sorry to hear about your sons belongings. That is awful!

    • brenda

      OMGosh…I laughed so hard when I read this…thank you! FYI I wouldn’t be telling to many people you see zombies and walking dead, makes you sound a little off…no a lot off!!! But thanks for your support for my son…..

  • ruth1963

    I'm only posting on here to tell Trey I 'm so very sorry.. You were a big part of our life when you were growing up and Aunt Ruth Loves you. Brenda, somebody told me about this and that you were excusing me of something, I've seen one post written by you- to me and someone else. I'm taking this opportunity to tell you I would not come on here and say anything except to protect myself, The last time I message you was suppose to be between you and me!! Your the one who put it on public display. I love brother and his kids and always will. I'm just tired of all you do to try to make me out to be.

    • ruth1963

      First of all no cop has ever told me to leave your family alone, since you were taking it there. And maybe you should explain why you would put that out there for all the next generation to see, Unless your trying to protect yourself from something. You should have defended yourself to me and proved it wrong, not bring my whole family into it. I'm very sad for what you did, and my anger with you has been expressed privately… You attacked my first born, told her how abusive you were to her, "because you never liked her" , I responded to you in a private message because I protect my baby bears. You have now spread hate and discontent all over a public message board trying to involve me. Shame on you once again for making this into something it wasn't. To Trey I'm very sorry that this has happen to you, I love you and would of never wanted to hurt you. you spent a lot of years hanging with Paul and we loved every minute of it. Brenda, you and skip have spent a lot of time trying to say my husband Ron had a job taken away from Skip, this is not true.

      • ruth1963

        Ron spent a lot of time over the years trying to help Skip with job opportunity, it wasn't up to him to help him keep a job. To all of you who read this I'm sorry I have aired all my family issue on here but, I have no other way to let certain family members know that we love them and will always love them. Proud of you Trey