Two storage units and a Chevrolet Blazer belonging to former sportscaster Don Tollefson were auctioned off today for a total of $875.
The auction at the Public Storage facility located at 456 N. Columbus Blvd. comes the week after the 61-year-old Tollefson was charged with theft and other offenses for allegedly scamming dozens of people out of more than $100,000 meant for charity.
The storage contents and SUV were up for bid after the units went into delinquency when Tollefson failed to make payments for their rent.
One storage unit sold for $175, the other for $600. The contents of each were sold as a unit; people couldn't bid on individual items.
Bidders got brief views of the lockers from outside; only the winners were later allowed inside to take a closer look and handle the items.
The first locker largely appeared to contain trash. It was packed with cardboard boxes and plastic bags, with broken glass covering the floor. An old jar of Progresso white clam sauce rolled on the ground.
The other had a plaque honoring Tollefson, lamps and other decorations and sports memorabilia, including hockey sticks, a large wooden "Sussex Cricket Club" sign and a box labeled "Cubs," among other items.
The blue Blazer, which came without keys or paperwork and bore an old "press" sticker on its cracked windshield, sold for $100.
The auction attracted about 20 people. Most weren't impressed with Tollefson's belongings.
"It looked like a lot of dumpy stuff," one woman remarked after viewing the lockers.
"That's a lot of trash," another said.
"That guy was a hoarder!" a man exclaimed as he walked away from the units.
The prospective bidders had had higher hopes.
Before seeing the units, Ron Trainor, a veteran auction-goer from Voorhees, said he expected them to have a high resale value.
Anything with Tollefon's name on it, he said, was "going to be worth some money."
The Bucks County District Attorney's office searched Tollefson's units on Friday.
Detectives were looking for "any evidence of the crime or evidence that he kept the proceeds of his illegal activity" at the facility, said Ryan Hyde, a deputy district attorney.
Hyde wouldn't say if authorities took anything from the units.
Tollefson was arrested last week on charges of theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, violations of the Pennsylvania Charitable Organizations statute and other offenses.
Prosecutors allege that the well-known 6ABC and Fox29 sportscaster purported to raise money for charitable organizations that included the Special Olympics of Pennsylvania, the Salvation Army, the Brad Fox Foundation and Tollefson's own charities, but the funds never made it to the organizations.
Donors bought game-trip packages from Tollefson, believing that the money would go to charity. But the promised trips fell through and the organizations often weren't paid, prosecutors say.
Tollefson's own charities weren't registered in Pennsylvania, New Jersey or with the federal government as 501(c)(3) nonprofits, meaning they lacked the tax-exempt status he claimed they held, officials say.
Tollefson remains jailed, unable to post bail, according to court and prison records. His bail was originally set at $250,000 but later reduced to $10,000.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 6, court records show.
Contact Emily Babay at 215-854-2153 or email@example.com. Follow @emilybabay on Twitter.
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