Storage Wars Star Dies: Mark Balelo in Apparent Suicide After Drug Arrest

Tuesday, 12 Feb 2013 02:28 PM

By Alexandra Ward

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
    A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Mark Balelo, an auction house owner who starred on the A&E reality television show "Storage Wars," was found dead of an apparent suicide at his workplace in Simi Valley, Calif., Monday, days after being arrested on a drug-related offense, according to the Ventura County Star. He was 40 years old.

Balelo, owner of Balelo Inc., a liquidation merchandise business, was know as one of the "Storage Wars" big buyers who had a knack for bargaining and finding treasure among trash. Nicknamed "Rico Suave," Balelo made headlines in 2011 when he helped actor Nicolas Cage recover a mint-condition copy of a 1938 Action Comics book that was stolen from his storage locker.

Balelo was arrested Saturday in connection with possession of methamphetamine, the Ventura County Star said.

TMZ reports Balelo was distraught when he was released from jail after the arrest and called his fiancée to tell her he might hurt himself. The two reportedly met at his office on Sunday and talked for a few hours. Balelo then took a four-hour nap and said he was feeling better, so his fiancée left, TMZ said. Balelo was scheduled to appear in Ventura County Superior Court Feb. 19.

One of Balelo's employees reportedly found his body Monday morning inside his running car in the parking garage at his auction house, according to TMZ. Balelo apparently committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

According to his eBay seller page description, Balelo's favorite past-times included flying private planes, listening to music, hanging out with friends and going to Vegas. A strong competitor with a no-holds-barred attitude, he was best known on "Storage Wars" for beating the competition by showing up to auctions with more than $50,000 in cash.

Related stories:

Fired 'Storage Wars' Star Dave Hester Sues A&E, Claims Finds Were Faked

Comcast's NBC to Sell A&E Television Stake for $3 Billion

Ex-La. Gov. Convicted of Corruption Gets TV Show

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

  Comment  |
   Contact  |
  Print   |
  Copy Shortlink
Send me more news as it happens.
Get me on The Wire
Send me more news as it happens.
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
You May Also Like

SpiceJet Grounded in India After Airline Fails to Pay Its Fuel Bills

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 06:39 AM

After oil companies stopped supplies of jet fuel to low-cost Indian airline SpiceJet, the financially beleaguered air c . . .

Steve Carell's North Korea Movie 'Pyongyang' Killed by Sony Hack

Thursday, 18 Dec 2014 05:57 AM

Steve Carell's planned movie project based on North Korea has been canceled by New Regency after the Sony Entertainment  . . .

North Korea Behind Sony Hack, US Officials '99 Percent' Certain

Wednesday, 17 Dec 2014 20:51 PM

U.S. officials have determined with "99 percent certainty" that the North Korean government is behind the cyberattack on . . .

Top Stories

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved