The Tyler, Texas, vicinity has experienced a rash of self-storage break-ins in the past two months, and local sheriffs are launching an investigation to find and catch the thieves.
Five self-storage facilities, including Ace Self Storage in Tyler, have reported 16 break-ins since the beginning of the year. Over the Christmas holiday, Ace Self Storage alone reported 11 break-ins. The other facilities are located in nearby towns Chapel Hill, Flint and Whitehouse.
Thieves seem to be circumventing fences, gates and locks by stealing a code to first get access to unit area. Then they compromise locks by jamming objects into the locks to keep them from fully latching, Lt. Tony Dana of the Smith County Sheriff's Office told the source.
Ace Self Storage's vehicle gate operates between 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. The facility has installed and begun using eight infrared cameras, but to this point thieves have managed to avoid being caught on video.
Televisions and computers have been the most common stolen items.