January 20th, 2016 | Category: Security | Leave a comment

Third Suspect Arrested

Storage unit break-ins are very frequent and it is welcome news to hear of police charging suspects who have caused so much grief to large numbers of renters.

CCTV images of the suspects at the self storage facilities

Fayetteville, NC police have been successful in apprehending three suspects wanted for a series of over 100 break-ins that occurred at various self-storage facilities last September.

Two of the suspects were arrested shortly after the break-ins following Fayetteville police publishing images taken from the storage facilities CCTV cameras. The third has been on the run but on Monday Chyeem Bobbitt, 23, was charged with 108 counts of breaking and entering, 17 counts of possessing stolen goods, 16 counts of larceny after breaking and entering, four counts of conspiracy, misdemeanor damage to property and fraud.

The three suspects responsible for over 100 break-ins
Left to right, Parrish, Flowers and Bobbitt

Previously apprehended were Nathaniel Parrish, 23, who was charged with 49 counts of breaking and/or entering, five counts of possessing stolen goods or property, five counts of larceny after breaking and entering, and three counts of conspiracy. Also Crismani Flowers, 20, who was charged with 47 counts of breaking and entering, five counts of possession of stolen goods, five counts of larceny after breaking and entering, and three counts of conspiracy.

Bail was set at $282,000 for Bobbitt and $255,000 for the other two and all three are currently in custody at the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office Detention Center.

January 6th, 2016 | Category: Fires | Leave a comment

3 Fires in 24 Hours

On the 5th January Taney County Fire Department attended a fire at F – Highway Storage, Branson, West MO. They managed to contain the fire to a single building but the building and the nineteen storage units suffered heavy damage. ​​The Missouri State Fire Marshall’s office are investigating the cause of the fire.

19 storage units on fire

Also on the 5th January a three alarm fire at Money Saver Mini Storage in Johnson Creek, Portland, OR destroyed at least 80 storage units. Many others suffered smoke and water damage. Arson investigators are still trying to find out how the fire started.

80 storage units ablaze

On 6th January several units were destroyed at Maycliff Mini Storage & RV Park, Las Vegas. Clark County Fire Department had to force or cut open 12 roll-up doors before determining the source of the fire, a unit containing motorcycles and motorcycle parts. Firefighters also discovered propane and oxyactelyene tanks in another unit. The cause of the fire fire remains under investigation.

Dangerous storage facility fire

December 13th, 2015 | Category: Security | Leave a comment

Too Easy For Storage Unit Thieves

Dickinson, ND Police Department have investigated 53 storage unit burglaries at seven different locations in the last month. In all cases the criminals used bolt cutters to gain entry to the storage units.

Dickinson storage facility Econo Storage accounted for 27 of the burglaries and they certainly made life easy for the criminals but more on that at the end of the post.

This is a good time for you to take a long hard look at your lock security and review some of our previous posts on the subject. For example, you can see a lock supplied by Public Storage picked in twenty seconds and a Brinks Laminated Steel Padlock with a hardened steel, chrome plated shackle cut with an angle grinder in under ten seconds in this post, self-storage locks.

As far as bolt cutters are concerned, take a look at this video:

Brass and Steel Master Lock 175LH

$30 Brass and Steel Master Lock


$20 36″ Bolt Cutters

36 inch Bolt Cutters

Here is the result…

In the past we have suggested locks like the M3 Medeco with a boron alloy shrouded shackle. at around $100. 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.

However, it would not have prevented your unit at Econo Storage being burglarized with bolt cutters as you can see from the crime scene photo below.

Storage unit bolt cut with bolt cutters

December 15th, 2015 Update: Dickinson Police Department have arrested two men in connection with the rash of storage unit burglaries. Jesse Michael Hecker, 24, and Bryce Charles Reisenauer, 22, made appearances in court on Monday and Friday, respectively, for their alleged involvement in the crimes. Both were charged with burglary, theft of property and dealing in stolen property. Approximately $10,000 worth of stolen property has been recovered by Dickinson PD.

November 23rd, 2015 | Category: Security | Leave a comment

Seven Thefts In Five Days

Public Storage facility in Birmingham AL

Seven thefts in five days at the same facility must be a record even for Public Storage. Unit holders at the Public Storage Birmingham, AL facility have had TVs, household goods and sound equipment stolen over a five day period. One woman whose husband is a craftsman has had over $15,000 worth of tools stolen.

Public Storage are well known for their lack of security but this time they seem to have excelled themselves. Not only are their no surveillance cameras but there is no proper lighting and what little lighting there is goes off intermittently. To top it all the gate is broken and has been for some time.

Sgt Mike Mangina, Irondale Police Department said “Some of these victims are moving the rest of their property out because they don’t want to stay there, they think that it is unsafe. You know I would probably do the same thing.”

As we have said before if you are thinking of using a Public Storage facility you could save yourself the storage fees by dumping your stuff on the sidewalk with a notice “Help Yourself”.

November 13th, 2015 | Category: Security | One comment

Public Storage, Private Grief

Megan Wintersmith went to her storage unit at the Public Storage facility in Bridgeview, IL to find it totally trashed and valuable items missing. Brand new items including kitchen appliances, new bedding and a flat screen TV as well as older but valuable items had been stolen.

Public Storage facility in Bridgeview, IL

Given that Public Storage, headquartered in Glendale CA, probably has the worst reputation for service and customer relations of any self storage company in the world it is not surprising the the company did not bother to respond to her calls and emails.

It is also not surprising that when she asked an onsite employee about the CCTV cameras she was told that they had not worked for years.

So what is NOT surprising? The fact that according to Bridgeview Police Department there were three thefts at this facility in 2014 and there have been three so far this year.

Six thefts at the same facility and the CCTV cameras are still not working!

If you are thinking of using a Public Storage facility you could save yourself all the storage fees by dumping your stuff on the sidewalk with a notice “Help Yourself”.

Fortunately Megan Wintersmith had an insurance policy from another company and her claim was recently approved.