Police ask for help solving 7 storage unit thefts

IRONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — Seven thefts, five days — and no leads.

Police are asking for the public’s help to catch whoever has been breaking into storage units and cleaning them out.

These thefts are happening at the Public Storage on Gadsden Highway.

Police explained how and why a crook can keep hitting the same spot over and over again: There are no surveillance cameras, the gate is broken and the lights regularly flicker out.

On Monday, a Public Storage customer, who asked not to be named, got a call that the lock was missing from the storage unit she shared with her husband.

When she went to check it out, she found that the storage unit was empty.

“I was just thinking, ‘How am I going to tell my husband there was nothing left?'” she said.

She said her husband is a craftsman, and the storage unit held between $15,000 and $16,000 worth of tools.

“We don’t know what kind of people did this,” she said.

She’s scared that whoever stole those tools could come back for more, and it appears they have.

Irondale Police have received seven reports in just five days, of thefts from the Public Storage facility.

Thieves are taking expensive things, like TVs, sound equipment and a steam cleaner.

“It almost sounds like someone is making up their own home because of all the stuff that’s been taken,” Irondale Police Sergeant Mike Mangina said.

Mangina says out of all of the storage facilities in Irondale, this one is a hot bed for thieves.

He says a lack of proper lighting or surveillance cameras is all but inviting to anyone with sticky fingers.

“Some of these victims are moving the rest of their property out. They don’t want to stay there,” Mangina said. “They think that it’s unsafe. And that’s — I guess I would probably do the same thing.”

“We trust these places… and we never thought that this would happen,” the victim said. “(I am) never, never going to a storage place again.”

When we stopped by the office here, there was no one available to make a comment.

They directed us to a customer service line, we were unable to get through to anyone.

We emailed Public Storage’s corporate office; we haven’t heard back at press time.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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