Storage Wars star Mark Balelo was found dead on February 11, only two days after being arrested for drug possession, reports the Huffington Post. Balelo was 40 years old.
Balelo was arrested on charges of possessing a controlled substance over the weekend and was reportedly distraught after being released from jail. TMZ reports that one of Balelo’s employees found his body inside the garage of his Simi Valley, California home. Some media outlets have reported the death as a suicide, but Amanda Chavez, senior deputy medical examiner, refused to provide any information as to the actual cause of death. An autopsy will be conducted on February 12.
The A&E Star was known for his flamboyant style and was nicknamed “Rico Suave”. He was one of the deep pocketed buyers featured on the show that depicts storage-unit auctions. Balelo was a former owner of a chain of thrift stores and had a knack for finding treasures among trash. He once found a man-purse that contained $50,000. Mark Balelo was also pivotal in helping Nicolas Cage recover a mint-condition copy of a 1983 Action Comics book that was stolen from the actor’s storage locker. The comic book was valued at $1 million.
Along with the thrift stores, Balelo owned Balelo Inc, a business that specializes in asset liquidations and closeout sales. He also previously ran a gaming store called The Game Exchange.