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Scottsdale tenant says personal items 'dumped'

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(Source: 3TV News) (Source: 3TV News)

When we hear about complaints about apartments, it usually centers around the lease or maybe the security deposit but this one is different and even the apartment complex acknowledges it made a mistake.

"I don't understand how this is what I deserve," Sarah Sanchez said. 

For more than a year, Sanchez has been on an emotional roller coaster. 

"I work two jobs just to live a normal life and be able to afford the things that I need and want and it was just like, a rug pulled from under me even more so with them," Sanchez said.

Sanchez's problems have been going on since last year when she was moving out of The Cortesian, an apartment complex in Scottsdale. It was a three-day moving process but during one of those days, while she was gone, she says apartment management let themselves in and threw all of her personal belongings in the trash.

"This is one of the three dumpsters that all my stuff was thrown in and literally just strewn throughout three of them. Clothes that were perfectly clean that I had hanging up in my closet, they just literally took out and threw in here," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says she couldn't believe it and wondered why the complex would throw her stuff out while she was moving to another apartment just down the street.

"It was awful. I was balling and you know clothes are one thing. Like, there's stuff I'll never see again," Sanchez said. 

And while dealing with the dumpster issue, Sanchez says she saw the maintenance man from the complex with a truckload of more of her personal items.

"He did he drove up in his personal vehicle with my flat screen, my bike, my DVD's, you know things of value that you can probably resell in the back of his personal truck," Sanchez said.

Sanchez says she emailed management at The Cortesian demanding answers as to why her stuff was taken out and thrown away. She says she then received a response saying, "This was obviously a mistake." 

As a result, the complex asked for an itemized list and value of the items thrown away, and she did. 

"It was $8,300 and change," Sanchez said.

 According to Sanchez, the apartment complex balked at the amount and offered nearly 50 percent less. However, Sanchez has been trying unsuccessfully to negotiate a higher amount for nearly a year until recently, when the complex said, "We have an amount. Take it or leave it."

Sanchez went on to say, "They basically offered me $2,500 because I waited so long."

3 On Your Side tried talking to The Cortesian apartment complex and they told us, "Over the past year, we have made multiple attempts to resolve the matter and we've received no response from the resident. At this point, we do not feel she is acting in good faith and have referred the matter to legal counsel."

Their legal counsel, by the way, didn't want to discuss the issue with 3 On Your Side. 

"I didn't ask for this. I was just moving out and my life got turned upside down and throw away in the dumpster, literally," Sanchez said.

Copyright 2016 KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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