Thread Number: 41793  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
My Storage Unit Was Broken Into...
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Post# 441673   5/10/2021 at 14:11 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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So, yesterday I was out running errands with my friend and her daughter and since we were on the side of town where my storage unit is, I decided on the spur of the moment to go and check on it since I hadn't been over there for a couple of months. No sooner had I gotten out of the car than the lady from the office came up to me and asked if I had a unit in that particular building and when I replied that I did, she told me I couldn't go in because they'd had a break-in and the police were on their way.

Sure enough, my unit was one that had been forced open. It's jammed full of my late father's toy collection and a few other odds and ends, including some antique car parts. They got most of the car parts and a few of the toys (die cast scale car models of recent manufacture) and they dropped a box of cast iron toy soldiers on the floor in the hallway.

The consensus is it could have been an inside job because they managed to stay out of view from any of the security cameras and deflected one camera away from the back door of the building my unit is in. The police didn't manage to get any fingerprints but the perpetrator apparently cut themselves either on the fence they cut through or on one of the roll-up door they forced because there were drops of blood on the floor. The crime scene tech said that was potentially better than fingerprints.

As I was leaving, the lady handed me a new padlock for my storage unit and I got to thinking about it later on that I should retrieve the one that was on the damaged door since it's keyed the same as another one I have so I went back over there earlier today and the maintenance guy and the office lady were standing in front of my unit, having just finished repairing the door and she handed me the keys to yet another lock she'd just installed. Those disc-shaped padlocks must cost them next to nothing for them to be so generous with them. I looked down at my feet and saw my old lock, still attached to the mangled latch mechanism, and unlocked it and slipped it into my pocket as well.

Even though the thieves got away with several hundred dollars' worth of my stuff, I can't get too worked up about it since there's just such a massive amount of it. The one thing it points up is that it's high time I had an auction to get rid of that stuff.

Post# 441674 , Reply# 1   5/10/2021 at 15:05 by suckolux (Yuba City, CA)        

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I'm sorry to hear this buddy, definitely time to lock and load and get the show on the road.

Post# 441675 , Reply# 2   5/10/2021 at 16:20 by Brando_husky (Las Vegas Nevada)        

Ugh that's too bad. Terrible people.

I worry about our storage unit in Salt Lake city. 6 hours away in a shady part of town with poor security. Got two cars in there. Engines. Tools and other stuff. Would have to imagine it getting broken into. It's been years since we've been there

Post# 441679 , Reply# 3   5/10/2021 at 19:44 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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Those locks are like $10 from harbor freight, much more for brand name ones. Likely they are being generous with the locks because they don't want to get sued, and/or have to deal with a disgruntled customer.

Post# 441687 , Reply# 4   5/10/2021 at 22:11 by Human (Pines of Carolina)        

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I have no complaint about how the people at the self storage place handled the situation. They couldn't have been nicer or more professional about the whole thing. They made repairs to my unit immediately and were already focused on reasonable steps to effectively increase security before the police even arrived. I thought about suggesting they electrify the fence but decided that wasn't my place.

They've been generous with the padlocks all along. They gave me a two-pack, keyed alike when I rented that unit and another one, thinking I'd need more space than I actually did, and they let me keep the second lock when I didn't need the second unit, so I put that one on the storage building in my backyard. They have them priced at about $8 each or $15 for the two-pack. It's funny that every place I've ever rented a storage unit from has sold/issued the same Chateau brand padlocks and I've never seen them anywhere else.

Post# 441755 , Reply# 5   5/12/2021 at 22:56 by MadMan (Chicago, IL, USA)        

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They're probably cheap crap that the storage companies contracted to buy a million of. Glad the folks running the joint were competent. Sucks when people are incompetent morons.

Post# 441773 , Reply# 6   5/13/2021 at 13:40 by electrolux137 (Land O Plenty USA)        


So sorry to hear this. But you are safe and that's what matters most.


Post# 441798 , Reply# 7   5/14/2021 at 08:00 by human (Pines of Carolina)        

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Yeah, I'm sure those locks are made of the finest chinesium money can buy but the one on my unit was undamaged. The latch to which it was attached took all the damage. The maintenance guy said he'd never seen one messed up like that.

Post# 441869 , Reply# 8   5/16/2021 at 05:44 by huskyvacs (Indiana)        

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I never trust storing my stuff off my property for primarily this reason. And without inventory sheets of what is in there, no chance at getting insurance payouts to recoup the items or proof of ownership. Just have to eat it and either pull stuff out and move it back home or sell it and liquidate the locker.

For the cost of having a storage unit that size and paying on it every month for years on end, you can buy a small garden shed and stick it in your backyard or driveway and use that as a storage locker. No monthly payments, its safe, and you can see your stuff any time you want.

Post# 441872 , Reply# 9   5/16/2021 at 12:03 by fan-of-fans (USA)        

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Yeah, I've thought about renting one of those storage units but I just can't see paying what they cost. Also sometimes around here I've heard of them catching fire and ruining the contents.

I have considered buying a shed but I don't think my parents would want to install one. Plus I figure the heat and humidity here in Florida will ruin whatever I put in one.

One of the reasons I really want my own home with a garage and/or a spare room for storage/display purposes.

Post# 441874 , Reply# 10   5/16/2021 at 13:19 by Louvac (A)        
Don't think for moment.....


that the perpetrator is not from within as you suspected! Why else do you think they were being so nice! Of course it was an inside job and most likely by someone who saw and knows what you have stored in there! I would tell them that they owe you money for the lost goods and that they also owe you a credit for several months of storage. AND, if I were you I would leave that storage unit and go to another one--after you inquired about any vandalism or break ins at the new place and I would also check with the local police to see what their records say. Wouldn't hurt to install an automatic motion detection camera on the inside aimed at the door to see who the uninvited guest is! And it should be equipped with an alarm that would alert you on your phone when someone other than you enters!

Post# 441897 , Reply# 11   5/17/2021 at 10:49 by human (Pines of Carolina)        
I need to have an auction...

human's profile picture
Yeah, I have a storage building in my back yard already and it's also crammed full of stuff. Ideally, I'd like to get the rented storage unit liquidated and the one in my back yard cleared out enough where I can actually have a workshop area. That's why the idea of an auction is becoming more and more attractive.

I'm not so sure about the break-in being an inside job. Nobody has ever been in that building but me when I've had the unit open, except for the moving crew that loaded everything in, and there aren't any indoor security cameras for them to observe the contents from the office. Of course the main thing they would have seen is cardboard boxes. I'm also the only one who has a key to it. If they did have a key, they could have been a hell of a lot stealthier by just unlocking the door, taking what they wanted and locking it back. Instead, the thieves really mangled door getting it halfway open.

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