GUEST BLOG BY KIMBERLY HUNDLEY, ISS EDITOR
I was just trolling for news for our Media Watchdog section, clicked on a blurb labeled Crime Stoppers: Self-Storage Theft, and found myself presented with the actual surveillance video of a storage criminal (alleged), presented by 3 Eyewitness News in Chattanooga, Tenn.
So now, Im sitting here, about to watch the video, reflecting on Mini-Max Self Storage facilitys move to call the local news station and enlist their help through a Crime Stoppers program. I wonder if management/ownership struggled with the decision to go public and supply its video. Not every facility would be eager to publicize the fact it had been burglarized, but these guys had the guts to go after the bad guys.
The news text introducing the video says these same low-down thieves (alleged) are probably the same creeps that have hit several other storage units in
OK Im downloading the video. A jeep is pulling up to the automatic gate and a guy in shorts (another crime) gets out and flips some kind of switch, which releases the gate. Now we see him walking with bolt cutters down an inner driveway on his way to cut the locks on two units. Hey, I have to admit, I am filled with loathing looking at this scumbag (alleged) with his shaggy hair, hiking boots and tan T-shirt straining across his generous torso (Seinfelds man bra would not go amiss here). When the jeep pulls away, the hatch flies up, exposing the stolen (alleged) goods, which will no doubt be dearly missed by their rightful owners. Viewers are asked to call in immediately with info to get a reward.
I give this video 3 stars for capturing a pretty darn good image of the lawbreaker and riling me up. Hmmm I wonder if they caught this guy (and his female cohort in the passenger seat)? Eh I just called the facility, but no answer. Ill check back tomorrow. If you want to see the video for yourself, go to www.wrcbtv.com/news/index.cfm?sid=3985
Anyway, do you think your facility would risk the publicity of airing crime footage on TV? Surely thats got to be more effective than showing it only to police, and it could serve as a warning to other criminals. On the other hand, you dont want to be victimized twice: once by the evil burglars who steal from your tenants, and once by the negative exposure. Is this a tough call? What if you were lord and master over your own facility (and maybe you are) Would The Man Bra-glar make his TV debut?