Amy Campbell, Senior Editor

February 5, 2009

2 Min Read
Catch the Villain if You Can

Last week, a Jack in the Box employee was severely beaten outside his restaurant near Lakeport, Calif., and police are hoping the video surveillance from a nearby self-storage facility will help them apprehend a suspect. After the incident took place, authorities found an upturned dumpster the suspect may have used to scale the fence at neighboring Shoreline Self Storage. (Lakeport Attacker Still at Large,

This is something to think about when planning your overall security system. Some self-storage operators still employ "dummy" cameras (with empty houses) to deter crime, but many are relying on real-time digital surveillance to manage their sites remotely. Think beyond your buildings and driveways to focus on surrounding properties. Criminals do not simply "apparate" on site (to take a term from Harry Potter), nor are they always renters in disguise. So watch your periphery. It may not only assist you in shenanigans at your facility but could position you as a community watchdog.

As you know, theft is only one among a plethora of troubles of which a storage operator must be wary. Hank Saipe, owner of three self-storage facilities in Denver, recently did an interview with the Denver Post regarding the potential pitfalls faced by facility owners and managers (Legal pitfalls, even danger, can be-devil self-storage facility owner, The piece cites messes related to on-site drug activity, abandoned documents, even terrorist activity, and then moves on to highlight some horrific auction finds. These undesirable elements spell trouble for self-storage, particularly in this thorny environment—yet another reason to be vigilant and make security a top priority.

Anyone out there find these statements to be too cautionary? How much do you rely on your own security system? I'd love to get some feedback on the blog. Share your surveillance tales or talk to me about crime in your area.

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Senior Editor, Inside Self Storage

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