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Posted on Mon, Jan 17, 2011 : 6 a.m.

Saline police warn residents about series of storage-facility thefts

By Art Aisner

Saline police are alerting residents to take precautions while using storage facilities for their property after a series of thefts from a local business.

The manager of U-Store Self Storage, at 1145 Industrial Road, called police earlier this month to report locks on at least three storage units were missing. The units were in the same aisle, and property was later determined to be stolen.

Items taken include televisions, a computer, clothing, furniture, kitchenware and a rare set of figurines. The total value is estimated at roughly $3,000.

The thefts were discovered while the manager was on regular rounds through the enclosed facility. The crimes likely occurred between 6 p.m. on Dec. 30 and Dec. 31, reports said.

At least five storage-unit larcenies have been reported there since September.

Officers investigated the theft of two commercial lawnmowers that were parked on trailers in separate lots on the property between Sept. 24-27, reports said. And thousands of dollars in athletic clothing and sports gear was discovered missing from the property on Nov. 29.

Saline Detective Don Lupi said officers have seen surveillance camera footage on some of the days the thefts are believed to have occurred. They discovered people with storage units are letting others in who may not have legitimate business at the facility. 

“We’ve found that, in most cases, the thieves are being let in by people with legitimate storage areas,” he said. “They pull in behind someone and say that they forgot their code.”

In some instances, people shared their personal codes and became victims.

Lupi said keeping the code secure is a start, but he also suggested getting insurance for the property left in storage. 

Police said they continue to investigate leads.

Anyone with information is asked to call the department at 734-429-7911 or e-mail Lupi at


Ron Granger

Mon, Jan 17, 2011 : 12:51 p.m.

It sure would be nice to know when and where storage break-ins occur. There is some incentive for storage management to keep such issues quiet. Perhaps an ordinance making police reporting mandatory? It would also be extremely helpful if there was an easy to access online summary of storage burgularies. I had a trailer burgled at that storage facility back around '05. I moved it shortly after. I am so glad I am out of there. And when I moved out, it took them weeks (and many phone calls) to pay me back my small deposit. It was only around $40 - why is that so difficult? One big negative of that facility was (is?) that nobody lives on site. And perhaps more problematic, the lone employee would also be gone for apparently hours at a time. This is really a situation where you want someone living on site who is always around, and who is very nosey and a busy-body type. I once rented at a facility managed by an old couple named Bob and Martha. They watched that place like hawks, and the fence was alarmed (touch it = cops come), and they were just great! A year or two after my trailer storage burglary, I received a phone call from the Saline Sheriff. Apparently, the perps had burgled some units in addition to my trailer, and had left some blood on one of those. The Deputy could not reveal specifics, but they apparently had someone who matched that blood. The wheels of justice grind slowly, but they are definitely making an effort to catch those perps.


Mon, Jan 17, 2011 : 12:09 p.m.

Just happy I don't have to store anything. I would rather let family or friends use the items. (no cost for storing).


Mon, Jan 17, 2011 : 9:42 a.m.

Not ridiculous, but interesting. Why work when you can steal with little chance of getting caught, tiny chance of getting charged, and almost no chance of getting punished enough to make you quit? This is just creative human nature at its best. Now go look on Craigslist or eBay for your stuff. And if you find out who has been naughty, just what exactly are you going to do about it? That's the problem. No fear of severe enough punishment to accomplish retraining. OK, now open up the floodgates so the bleeding hearts can explain to us the pain of drug addiction, unemployment, cost of medical attention, boredom, overpopulation, obesity from fast food and global currency fluctuations. Whew! This is gonna be a long thread..


Mon, Jan 17, 2011 : 9:31 a.m.

I'm not surprised. I have experience with this facility. The owner allows businesses like lawn services to operate out of the facility so there is constant traffic through it. My parked vehicle was damaged as a result. More often than not, the gate is broken and blocked open = no real security. Complaints fall on deaf ears. Owner takes no responsibility.


Mon, Jan 17, 2011 : 8:24 a.m.

This is getting ridiculous. I've used self-storage in the past (different facility than the article) and they supposedly have surveillance cameras. But if people let in others behind them at the gate who do not put in a code, then the security goes out the door. I think the frequency of burglaries, assaults and robberies and home invasions is increasing dramatically in this area.