- When Karleigh went home for summer, she got a storage unit to store all the things she was leaving behind.- Karleigh's unit is in a small hallway in the back corner of the facility.
- The storage facility her unit is at has security gates, but doesn't have any on-site security personnel.
- Over the past few weeks Jonny and I have noticed one of the storage facility's security gates has been left open.
- Jonny had been to the unit on Monday.
On Wednesday I was working on moving out of my apartment and I was taking some of my stuff to the storage unit. When we got there, I walked into the hallway and our lock was gone. I called out to Jonny to let him know. He informed me he was there on Monday and that the lock was absolutely there at that time. We opened the door and the unit seemed a little emptier than we remembered.
Jonny looked at the other locks in the hallway and almost all of them had cut marks on them. On our unit you could see where the metal wall had been dented by the thief when he used it for leverage.
I called Karleigh and tried to figure out if anything was actually missing. She asked me if there was a laundry bag full of shoes. There wasn't. Three duffle bags full of clothes? Not that either. It was evident there were several things missing and at that point, we called the police. After about 45 minutes of waiting, an officer showed up. He had us fill out a police report and write down what was missing from the unit, along with an estimate of the value of those items (no easy task - especially since it wasn't our stuff.) We gave the report to the officer figuring we could use it in a case against the storage facility but knowing we would probably never see the stolen items again. We got our case number, the officer's name and phone number, and that was that.
Afterward, we moved the remaining stuff toward the back of the unit, closed the door and headed off to WalMart to get a new lock. We grabbed a lock (two actually) and then returned to the storage unit. When we got back, I started to open the door and my heart sank. On the floor near the front of the unit was a sleeping bag that I KNEW was not where I left it. I slid the door up the rest of the way and about half of the remaining items were now gone too. I yelled to Jonny that more stuff was gone and immediately burst into tears. He came over and immediately called the officer back. Jonny was actually excited by the news because he knew the thief was close by and was likely to come back. I then called Karleigh again (in tears) to tell her more stuff was gone. She had been pretty ok with everything but the second robbery upset her more because this time they stole the bin that held her letters from Steven (her missionary.)
The officer came back and was shocked that more stuff was missing. He had us add on to the police report while another officer checked for the thief in nearby areas.
I started to fill out more of the report when Jonny came over and said we were going to go park across the street while the officer hid around the corner in case the thief returned.
...So we went and sat across the street. Every time a car drove by, we got excited but nothing happened for about 45 mins. Finally, a car came down the street and slowly drove past the open gate, scoping out the area. They then pulled into the next driveway, turned around, and pulled in through the unlocked gate. Jonny turned the car on and said, "I'm blocking them in. I'm not letting them out of the parking lot." Jonny pulled out into the street and moments later, we saw headlights coming back out of the storage garage. So Jonny peeled out, then slammed on the breaks in front of the car, blocking the exit. I had my camera out so we could snap a picture. At first the people in the car seemed confused, thinking to themselves, "what is this guy doing?" Then they saw the camera and realized what was happening. The look on their faces quickly changed to, "Holy crap!" They started revving their engine and yelling at Jonny to get out of the way. Jonny didn't budge. They backed up and cut across the grass to go around us. Jonny flipped the car around so he could see where they went. He was prepared to follow and was about to when the cop came flying out of the storage garage. If Jonny hadn't blocked the exit for what amounted to about 30 seconds, it would have been too late and the burglars would have been gone. The cop slowed down behind Jonny but Jonny waved him past. He peeled out after the car and Jonny followed close behind. Unfortunately for the "bad guys," and fortunately for us, they turned into a neighborhood that only has three exits - all of which exit onto the street we were on. The thieves turned down one street, the officer turned down another, and Jonny pulled in front of the third and parked us where he could see all three exits. Shortly thereafter, more and more cops started pulling into the neighborhood. With about 5 cops surrounding the thieves, they finally pulled over. Jonny and I just sat there, about a block away, watching as they arrested the thieves. After about 45 minutes the cop cars started to leave and one pulled over next to us. They asked if we were the property owners and said "We'll go get all your stuff and bring it back to you in about half an hour." We were ecstatic, relieved, pumped up, worn out, and about a million other things! After about 30-40 minutes, we got a call to meet the police at our storage unit. When we pulled up, there was a huge pile of Karleigh's stuff laid out in front of the unit. After a couple car loads, almost everything was back. We signed a few papers, talked and laughed with the officers about the crazy night, and at about 5:00 in the morning, we were finally done with the trip that had started at 8:30 that night.
- We got almost all of Karleigh's stuff back. There may still be a few things missing but we won't know for sure until Karleigh gets back and looks through everything herself. But we know most of it is there (including the missing letters)!
- We didn't get to sleep until around 5:30 AM, despite only getting one load of my stuff to the unit that night... which was compounded the following night when Jonny and I went entirely without sleep as we moved the rest of my stuff to the unit. This, of course, meant my head was bobbing at work all the following day (not great when counting someone else's cash).
- Finally, it resulted in a really awesome story made even better by the fact that we caught the "bad guys."
...It's also kinda fun to say "we got robbed."