By FRANK LEWIS
PDT Staff Writer
On the television show “Storage Wars,” bolt cutters are used to open the storage units, sometimes exposing valuable items.
Someone in Scioto County has been cutting the locks on several storage units to see what treasures they can find.
Locks have been cut on at least two storage units at Storage Rentals of America on Duis Street in Wheelersburg and items were taken from one of those units. The locks were also cut on several others units at another local storage rental company. Nothing was reported stolen from those units, however. The manager of that company’s storage units asked not to be identified.
Earlier in the week a Scioto County Sheriff’s Deputy returned papers found on the highway to a woman who told him they had been in a storage unit. Deputies discovered the unit’s lock had been cut off.
Another woman also reported the lock had been cut on her storage unit and an LCD TV, valued at $400, a Blu-Ray player, valued at $150, and Blu-Ray discs, valued at $250, were taken.
Those thefts remain under investigation.
Storage Rentals of America Manager Jeff Conley says two out of three recent unit entries resulted in nothing being taken
“It does seem like there has been an increase,” Conley said. “At Storage Rentals of America we’re doing everything we can by doing things like installing extra security cameras. We’re asking law enforcement to help us watch closer, and we’re keeping an eye on it around the clock on those locations.”
Scioto County Sheriff Marty V. Donini said one of the benefits of having a township deputy is the ability for that deputy to spend more time patrolling a certain area as opposed to having to travel from one end of the county to the other during a shift.
“They (township deputies) have the luxury of just servicing that particular township. It frees up a lot more time for them,” Donini said. “They spend more time checking buildings. Really, though, they’re all supposed to be doing that. But with time constraints, and with the fact that they’re going from call to call, they are more limited. But when an officer is assigned to a township he has time and a lot more ability to be more diligent on checking those buildings. Sometimes they catch them and sometimes they don’t.”
The unidentified rental unit employee said they were somewhat puzzled by the cut locks.
“Over the last year so many people have come in and said, ‘I watch Storage Wars, do you have those here?’ So there is interest drawn from that, but I will tell you that the five that were cut here, I don’t know what they were doing, but they didn’t seem to take anything,” the employee said. “They seem to cut the locks that seem to be the smallest locks. When people buy the heavier locks, the big round locks, they don’t bother those. They’re going for the ones that are easy.”
Conley said the kind of lock used does make a difference.
“We try to make sure that all of our customers use the good locks,” Conley said. “There’s the disc lock that is very difficult to break into. It’s not impossible, but it’s not something that you can typically walk up with bolt cutters and cut off a unit. These disc locks are high-security locks. So we’re recommending that no one use the small padlocks like we normally use.”
Conley said his company provides the disc locks to their customers when they rent a storage unit.
“So we like them to use our locks because they are very secure,” Conley said.
Conley said people with large electronics, such as TVs, might want to store those items with relatives.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.