FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) Alaska State Troopers (AST) are encouraging the public to be aware of potential risks with self-storage facilities.
Alaska State Troopers are encouraging the public to be aware of potential risks with self-storage facilities. *this photo is from file footage, no storage companies were named in the AST report.* (John Dougherty/KTVF)
In the last three months between 10 and 15 individual units have been broken into at multiple storage facilities around Fairbanks, resulting in nearly $500,000 worth of property being stolen. In one case over $300,000 in precious metals were taken from a unit.
AST Sergeant Brian Zeisel says that in one instance thieves gained entry into a storage unit, and then knocked down the walls in between units to access to multiple additional units.
One of the reported problems with storage facilities is that some of them are not staffed, have poor security systems, and low quality cameras -- making it hard for law enforcement to develop suspects.
Zeisel said troopers suspect that not all the incidents are linked and they do have some suspects. He said that sometimes troopers do not find out about a theft until days after it has happened, making it harder to find suspects. He encourages people to check their units every few days to make sure they are still secure, and also not to store anything that is too valuable in the units.
He also said to check with the company and find out what type of security they have before deciding where to store your goods.
Additionally, the sergeant had a tip for helping troopers locate any items that are stolen. "We want to see folks actually document their items, the serial numbers of the items, or mark your items. We have had people engrave their initials in the items, and that is helpful in identifying items that have been taken,” Zeisel said. He also added that people can take photographs of their belonging on their phones which can also help troopers.
One last thing that Zeisel recommended was to report any suspicious activity people see to law enforcement.
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