Hundreds of self-storage units are broken into every week because of poor quality locks. Two recent examples of many where the 51 storage units at Great Value Storage in Dayton, OH and the 87 units at the Public Storage facility in Harris County, TX. The Public Storage facility even had a resident manager but this was obviously not a deterrent to the thieves.
It is estimated that 80% of locks sold by self-storage facilities to their clients are disc locks which can be cut with a pair of $50 42″ bolt cutters. Disc locks can also be picked in a few seconds (video on the left) and then replaced after the goods have been removed, delaying discovery.
Consumers who choose their own locks can be forgiven for believing the claims made by the manufactures. For example a Brinks Laminated Steel Padlock with a “Hardened steel, chrome plated shackle that resists cutting” can be cut with a 18V angle grinder in under ten seconds (video on the left). If the thief was worried about the noise they could always use an almost silent battery operated hydraulic cutter.
The simple fact is that if you want a potential thief to take one look at your lock and move on to the next unit, you need to spend money on something with a high deterrent factor.
Be prepared to spend around $100 for something like a M3 Medeco with a boron alloy shrouded shackle. It may seem like a lot of money but when you find out that your unit was left intact when all the other units in your facility were broken into, it will feel like the best purchase you ever made.