A man suspected of breaking into self-storage units at a Public Storage facility in Woodbury, Minn., was caught in the act on July 6 and then led an officer on a car and foot chase before being arrested. Police were called to the facility at 9640 Hudson Road to take a report from a tenant about items that had been stolen from his unit. During the interview, a facility employee alerted the officer that he believed the thief to be on site.
The alleged burglar was spotted one aisle over. Officer James Stoffel discovered the suspect, Timothy Flores, 40, removing items from another unit. Flores fled the scene in his vehicle, with Stoffel in pursuit.
Flores first smashed into the storage facility’s security fencing, then crashed a second time, rendering his vehicle inoperable. He continued to run on foot. Stoffel ultimately caught him in the highway median, the source reported.
The tenant Stoffel originally interviewed claimed to have been robbed of $15,000 in goods including a snow blower and various collectibles. The customer hadn’t been to his unit since May 19, according to the source. Upon the July visit, he discovered his lock had been removed and replaced.
Officers found bolt-cutters, a package of padlocks and the snow blower inside the car driven by Flores, which was also stolen. They also discovered a backpack containing a handgun and possible methamphetamine.
Investigators later searched several Woodbury homes and storage units connected with Flores and discovered several stolen items and vehicles, including some that had been reported missing from other self-storage facilities. Flores is also a suspect in residential burglaries, Altman said. Woodbury police detectives have connected him to $40,000 in losses, not including the stolen vehicles.
Flores faces 10 charges including eight felonies. He’s being held at the Washington County Jail.
Headquartered in Glendale, California, Public Storage has interests in 2,563 self-storage facilities in 38 states, with 176 million net rentable square feet in the United States. It also has a 35% common-equity interest in Shurgard Self-Storage SA, which owns 243 facilities in seven Western European nations.