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Crime-Free Zone

Amy Campbell

August 11, 2008

2 Min Read
Crime-Free Zone

Blame it on the heat, the influence of summer event movies or the wretched economy. In the past couple of weeks, self-storage facilities across the country have been in the news—a lot. And not in a good light. There was the case of the marijuana growers, and the horrible dog abuser (For detailed information, plus tips on providing better property managment, see Teri’s blog below). Another cringe-worthy crime escapade: a guy running an illegal scrap business from a storage facility.

While there’s no way you can ever guarantee your facility is and will always be 100 percent crime-free, there are many steps you can take to minimize illegal activities. And it begins the moment the potential renter walks in the door. Shady characters often look, well, shady. If the person looks or acts strangely, there could be a reason. While it’s true not all drug dealers are greasy slimeballs with unkempt hair and clothing, suspicious behavior can be spotted.

This leads to my next point: PAY ATTENTION. If something seems suspicious, it probably is. Unless your tenant is a pharmaceutical rep, a book publisher or other small-business owner storing goods he needs to access more than a couple times a week, few tenants visit their units more than twice a month, with the exception of moving or out.

If you don’t have security cameras, get them. Fake cameras don’t count. You need real cameras with real backup systems. Check out Inside Self-Storage’s archive on security to determine what you need. Or download our FREE security e-book for information on everything from cameras to choosing security software. 

If you don’t think being featured on the five o’clock news as the place of the latest crime bust will deter current and future renters, guess again. We are all susceptible to first impressions. What will yours be?

About the Author(s)

Amy Campbell

Editor, Inside Self Storage

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