After rash of storage unit thefts, one victim has warning to criminals

Storage Units

Police in Marion are stepping up patrols after a sudden spike in storage unit burglaries. Investigators say it's not uncommon for crimes like this to go up during the busy holiday season, but this year, the frequency of this particular crime is unusually high.

It's not hard to notice the growing number of garage doors without a home. Storage units for those looking to clean their home of items not ready for the dump. But some are opening their doors to a very unfortunate surprise, like Dave Thiele of Marion. "We went to go pull out our Christmas tree out of our storage unit and we realized out storage unit was broken into."

Thiele says it had been a month since he last opened the unit, but operators tell him they inspect every unit once per week, limiting the timeframe for burglars to break in unnoticed. Thiele says the thiefs snagged boxes without knowing what was inside, largely avoiding the large items. They got away with a lot of items including some antiques that belonged to his grandmother.

Marion Police say they are making progress in solving the burglaries and continue to scour surveillance video. They suggest every user of a storage unit do the following:

ITEMIZE: Make a list, possibly with photos, of everything kept inside the storage unit of particular value

SURVEILLANCE: Make sure operators have working cameras to watch over the area, not just signs warning of surveillance

COMMUNICATE: Remember that you are the customer, and there's no harm in communicating concerns to owners of storage centers. They want your business and need to keep their clients happy.

As for Thiele, an Iraq War Veteran, he has a message to those who took his family's belongings. "I'd like for them to try and break into our house, probably wouldn't go over so well."

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