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Amy Campbell

Amy Campbell
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acampbell@vpico.com

Crazy, Weird and Wild Self-Storage Stories: Make Sure You’re Prepared for the Unexpected

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By Amy Campbell

Over the last few weeks, ISS has reported on some outrageous things. We’ve had our fair share of wacky news items over the years (snakes housed in units!), but it seems like it’s coming in droves lately.

First, we have a self-storage owner locking a Verizon employee in an underground vault. It seems Howard W. Cook, owner of Westboro Self Storage in Westborough, Mass., became irate after the employee lawfully parked on his facility’s lawn. To show his displeasure, Cook closed the guy in the underground vault in which he was working, put the lid on, added some heavy rocks and walked away. Luckily the guy had his, let’s assume, trusty Verizon phone so he could call for help.

When police later explained to Cook that the man he locked away could have died if the ventilation system shut off, Cook reportedly said, “I don’t care.” Read what the members of Self-Storage Talk have to say about Cook’s actions in this thread.

Another person apparently not worried about how his actions would affect others decided to steal an RV from a self-storage facility and go on a rampage, using the oversized vehicle as his weapon of choice! Christopher Lines, 39, allegedly picked up the sweet ride from CRT Mini Storage in Marion, Ohio. Lines allegedly cut through the property’s fence in two places before breaking into four storage units and setting fire to one of them. He left the facility in a 1994 Conquest Gulfstream Limited Edition, and drove the RV into Marion Prescription Shoppe about three miles away. The suspect hit two police cars while backing out of the store and led officers on a short chase until he hit a nearby house. CRT owner Jason Kirkman estimated the facility’s damages around the nice price of $4,000.

Of course, not all of these stories revolve around people who are committing criminal acts. Some are tragic, like the poor guy who got his foot stuck under a pallet of dry goods he was trying to move inside a unit Access Self Storage in Indianapolis. When firefighters arrived, they found the guy hanging upside down, still conscious. They were able to free his foot and send him off to a nearby hospital.

Here’s another recent accident. A woman in McDonald, Ohio, was injured at a self-storage facility after being struck by a roll-off dumpster that was attached to a truck she was driving. Police found her on the ground, and she reportedly suffered serious injuries.

So what’s the takeaway from these stories? Be prepared because you never know what might happen. Here’s a great blog about what to do if something crazy not only happens at your facility but also draws attention from the media. It’s written by industry veteran Jim Chiswell, who’s seen plenty of outlandish things or at least heard about them!

If you’ve had something wild or weird happen at your self-storage facility recently, share your story by posting a comment below or on this thread on Self-Storage Talk.

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