[A guest blog spot by ISS Managing Editor Elaine Foxwell.]
Part of my job entails searching for news about self-storage for ISSs "Media Watchdog" department. Some is pretty mundanezoning changes to allow a facility, charity events and the like. And some are about crime. Not the most auspicious topic, but a nasty reality of life.
Well, I came across a few items recently that made me wonder about the incredible stupidity of these erstwhile masters of nefarious acts. These paragons of improbity didnt need the clues found sifting through the minutia of evidence a lá CSI or a confession elicited by the gentle ministrations of Det. Mackey in The Shield to be caught. Nope, they tripped over their own feet and fell into jail. I mean how dumb can you be?
For example, in the last two weeks I found these gems:
A New York man referred to by law-enforcement agents as a mega star among drug smugglers was arrested after agents found 35 pounds of pot in a storage unit next to the New York offices of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The storage facility has two entrancesone of them through the lobby of the DEA building. Drug agents walking to the office noticed the smell of marijuana as they passed the storage facility. Maybe the criminals thinking went something like, He, he, he. They'll never think anyone would be clever enough to stash the stuff right under their noses. I guess stardom went to his head.
Next, a Cameroon native was arrested on charges of manufacturing thousands of fake dollar bills out of a storage unit in a facility in Atlanta. Police called the scam the best counterfeit scheme ever seen. But, although he drove an $80,000 Land Rover and deposited $10,000 per day into his account, he failed to make the rent for his unit. Management went to empty it and found the operation. Mr. Versace-dressing criminal obviously let his designer ego override his business sense. What was he thinking? Oh nevermind, he wasnt.
Heres a gem: Three Dayton, Ind., stooges attempted to sell items they stole from a storage unit. The hauled their loot into the closest pawnshop to the scene of their crime. It turns out the pawnshop manager was the owner of the items. Busted!
Finally, police and the Australian Defense Force are investigating a cache of military artillery found in an abandoned self-storage unit in Embleton, Australia. The former tenant is being sought. What did he forget? That if it is in storage it stays in storage even if he splits. The Aussie cops will find him sooner or later. Oi, mate, you left your rocket launchers and grenades behind. Wanna tell us about it?
As amusing as these items are to the reader, they probably arent to the victims of the crimes even when the bad guys are caught. Storage owners and managers cant count on the lack of gray matter in the skulls of the criminals to deliver justice. These purveyors of iniquity do get clever and lucky. Although some crimes are driven by impulse and opportunity, some are the result of careful scheming. The brigands check out the security systems of a facility, find one that is easy to circumvent and, voila! Goods are nicked.
I realize having contadina wire, a pair of snarling guard dogs and the Terminator walking the perimeter with Ingram MAC-10 is not financially practical (not to mention the downside affect on the curbside appeal). But at least there are tons of gadgets and wonderful technologies to help protect your site. Be secure and prosper (to borrow from Mr. Spock).