Social Media Helps Track Down Storage Unit Burglars

Burglars are opportunists, and if a treasure trove looks too difficult to get into—or too secure—they’ll simply move on to the next target. That’s why it’s essential to only trust your belongings with a facility like Oquirrh View Storage where security is the top priority. Other renters aren’t as fortunate when it comes to picking the best storage unit facility, but in some rare instances they still have luck on their side (and a brigade of social media justice seekers).

Unfortunately, some parts of the country are seeing a surge in storage facility burglaries in recent weeks. Criminals are aware that most people are staying home and practicing social distancing, which means storage facilities aren’t nearly as populated with renters as they usually are. Tahlequah, Oklahoma has seen a surge in recent storage facility thefts and one victim, Cindi Payne, has dubbed the recent events a “scam/crime wave.” She spoke to her local Daily Press and said, “our storage unit was broken into … lock cut only, our stuff is heavy and not easily moved.” Clearly, the burglars were confident they had plenty of time and no security to catch them in the act.

Safe and Sound Storage Unit?

Payne rents the storage unit for her daughter, and on April 27 she stopped by the storage facility and noticed the unit was “trashed” with big items missing. Payne and her daughter weren’t the only victims. The unit right next to theirs had everything stolen. When Payne filed a police report, she was told that six other units at a different storage facility nearby were also burglarized over the weekend. However, the other storage facility had security cameras, and the police thought they might know who the burglar was from the camera footage.

This footage was also available to the general public upon request. Renters Tara and Tom Warren had kayaks and fishing gear stolen from a different storage facility nearby on three different nights—April 11, 12, and 15. The couple watched the security footage from their facility and saw that the burglars took small items on the April 11, fishing gear on the 12, and came with an SUV on the 15 to finish off the burglary by taking the kayaks. The Warrens did not visit their storage unit during those weeks, and the unmanned facility did not have anyone on site or checking footage to help keep renters’ items safe.

The Warrens identified the vehicles after viewing six hours of footage and announced their findings on Facebook on April 26. This caused the burglars to turn themselves in after 400 people shared her post describing the vehicles. Such vigilante efforts can sometimes work, but the Warrens were both fastidious and lucky. If you want to make sure your stored items stay safe, choose a facility with maximum security. Contact Oquirrh View Storage for more information on available units and to find out about the many security measures we take to protect renters.

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