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Self-Storage Security System Triumphs and Failures: Stories From Facility Operators

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[Then I got] another phone call from the person making the payment asking when I would be removing the "red" lock on his unit. I told him I would do so shortly, and again called to inquire when an officer would be arriving at the facility. When the officers arrived, I told them what had transpired and showed them the ID and picture I had. After filing the report, they asked that I call their cell phone when the tenant showed up.

Sure enough, not 20 minutes after they left, I got another phone call about the lock. I told him I would have it off in a few minutes and did so while calling the officers' cell phone. The tenant showed up just as I returned to the office and went through the gate to his unit. I copied the license-plate number and descriptions down while removing the gate-access code so he could not vacate easily.

The officers showed up and arrested the person standing outside the unit in question when he dropped a box he was carrying. He denied knowing what was in the unit or the box but would not give the officers permission to access either. They took him and the box to the local magistrate to get a search warrant for the box and unit. They found a fake ID and credit card in his shoe while processing him at the jail, and when they opened the box, they found several hundred stolen credit cards and lists of numbers and ID information. When they served the search warrant for the unit, they again found more stolen credit cards, blank cards, laptops, lists of information and equipment used to create credit cards.

Several weeks later, a postal inspector came by with the necessary paperwork to obtain all the information I had on the person who had rented the unit. He told me they had not arrested everyone connected to the case but were actively seeking quite a few suspects in several states. I will probably be summoned to court when they have everyone in custody. I told him, "Don't wait too long. At my age, I may not remember everything or my time may expire any day."
~Senior Member FHARumRunner

A few years ago, we knew someone was coming in at night and stealing the gas out of the RVs that were stored in our facility. We knew who it was because we could see them enter their own gate code, and we could watch them siphon the gas out of the vehicles.

So my boss set up our computer to text his phone whenever that particular gate code was entered. He would then watch the cameras, and when he saw these idiots siphoning the gas, he called our local PD. They caught them with a hose in a tank. When they opened these guys' unit, it was full of gas cans and stolen TV sets! KCRA news came down and did a story on the 5 o'clock news about our facility and its great security system! Free advertising is great!
~Senior Member Rebee

Have you ever experienced a malfunction in your security system? If so, how did you handle it?

We have alarms on every unit and gate. If the power goes out, we have to open the gate by hand and leave it open. When our alarms malfunction—and they do from time to time—the problem has to be resolved as quickly as possible. This is when you need to have a reliable alarm tech on call.

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