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     The Sheriff’s Office has taken reports of a rash of break-ins of some of the storage unit facilities in Baxter County during the past several days. This seems to happen a couple of times per year.  Storage units are often tempting targets for would be thieves.  Many of the commercial facilities are large with dozens or even hundreds of units.  It is not unusual for renters of storage units to be coming and going throughout the day and evening.  Someone with ill intent who does not belong on the premises would likely not be distinguished by passersby from actual renters having legitimate business there.  Such thefts are sometimes not discovered for quite a long time after they have occurred.  The Sheriff’s Office would like to offer the following tips that people may want to consider when renting and storing personal property in one of the commercial storage unit facilities:

  1. Consider the physical location of the commercial storage unit facility. A well-lit and higher traffic area would normally be preferable.  Also, does the facility have gates, fencing, and/or recorded video surveillance equipment in place and in use?

  2. Choose a high quality lock of the type and style that is specifically designed to secure storage units.

  3. It is not recommended that any items having a high dollar value be left unattended in a storage unit.

  4. Any items of value stored in the unit should be well documented, including the recording of serial numbers and any special identifying markings that may be present.

  5. Any items of value should be photographed before being placed into the storage unit. Such photographs and the recording of serial numbers may be instrumental in allowing investigators to identify and recover any articles that might be stolen from the unit.

  6. Persons renting storage units should personally check their units and the contents of the unit on a regular basis. Not only should visual observation be made to confirm that the lock is still in place, but also open the unit and examine the contents. Thieves have been known to replace locks after stealing contents of the unit in order to give the outward appearance that the unit is still secure. Frequent checking of the units will help provide a timeline for investigators should thefts occur.

  7. Any suspicious activities noted should be immediately reported to law enforcement. We will be glad to respond and investigate.

Baxter County Sheriff’s Office