So yesterday morning, I get a call from the clerk at the (theoretically secure) storage facility where I keep my race trailer. He says they’ve had a fence cut, and suggest I come out to see if there’s anything amiss.
This is not the first time this has happened. The first time, they pried the locking bracket off the side door, breaking the bolts, got inside, and made a mess but didn’t actually take anything (suspects were kids who did the same to a good dozen trailers & boats but didn’t take anything from anyone). That was a few years ago. Late last year, someone cut the locks off the back ramp door, but didn’t actually go inside the trailer (we think they were looking for lawn equipment, not cars). After that one, I moved spots to one that wasn’t a pull-through, but allowed me to back up close enough to the fence that no one could open the ramp door, at least.
I get out there, and the Waterford cop is just pulling out. Go in the gate, drive back to my trailer, and… someone has pried the hasp off the locking bracket for the side door. Open it up, and… mess. And my tool box is open and… cleaned out. Everything except a claw hammer, some Torx screwdrivers, and my only Snap-On tool, a Phillips-head screwdriver I was given by my grandpa, and has both his name and mine engraved in the handle. DVOM (multimeter): gone. Sockets, combo wrenches, torque wrenches, cordless drill/driver and impact gun, all gone. Pliers, big ball-peen hammer, gone. This asshole had time enough to pull everything out including my portable charcoal grill in its case and open it to see if anything valuable was there, empty out my cleaning buckets to see if anything was in there (and he took one of the 5-gallon buckets as a tool carrier until the handle pulled out. I recovered the bucket next to the 3-foot mousehole he cut in the chainlink fence several spaces down from mine), pulled out the car cover, scatter my step with the hitch equalizer bars ’cause they were in his way, opened up and scattered the contents of the two cabinets, and pulled the moving blanket off my portable air conditioner (which he did not take… too big to move). He left my jack and my air tank, and apparently didn’t touch the Cobra at all. Left the tires and wheels, too. Too big to carry.
He also did the same to 3 or 4 other trailers back there.
I’m pissed. No, I’m BEYOND pissed. Just Friday, I got a notice in the mail from this self-same storage facility that they were raising my rent again, exactly one year after the last rent increase. Secure? “Well, we have a fence, and we’ll be fixing it today.” The managers (probably wise from their perspective) bugged out and didn’t stick around long enough for me to explain just how pissed I was. Instead of everything else I had to do this weekend, I had to haul my trailer out of there, stuff it in at home so that it doesn’t block the street or the driveway or the garage or hit my neighbor’s fence (no mean feat, that combo), because I Do Not Trust The Security There, buy a new hasp for the door, inventory what’s missing, clean up the mess (K helped tons with that), then start pricing said missing items to determine if it’s worth filing an insurance claim on my homeowner’s insurance (answer: No. $1000 deductible, estimated replacement costs including sales tax: $1354.42. Amount my premiums will increase if I make that claim and get the $354.42 check: at least $500/year for the next 3-5 years).
And then on top of it, do they say “your trailer’s been broken into” when they call? NO. They say they had the fence cut and they’re calling everyone to come make sure everything is okay even though they already KNOW your trailer’s been penetrated and the contents scattered about (when called on it, the clerk said “it’s policy.” Lying to customers is company policy? Better get another policy, Batman). Hell, the cop admitted (yep, I had them call to send the cop back out. I interrupted his lunch. Too fucking bad) they’d already been INSIDE OF IT BEFORE I GOT THERE so they knew it’d been cleaned out, but they didn’t know for sure until I said so. Yeah, I’m in the habit of leaving all my stuff scattered randomly about the floor of my trailer and an empty tool box with the top and all the drawers open… Give Me A Fucking Break.
In the lease agreement, there’s a bit that theoretically absolves Public Storage, Inc. and the franchisee/managers of this particular location from liability, but I’m going to see if I can’t persuade them to pony up on this. 3 break-ins since 1999, 2 in the last year, and now $1400ish worth of missing goods and damage to the trailer. Security? Chain link fence with 3 strands of barb wire at the top. No cameras, no security patrol. The bastard who did it this time drove in on the service drive to a cell phone tower next to the property. Hidden from the (busy) street by a good distance, a building or three, and some foliage. If they aren’t persuadable, I’m seriously considering small claims court. There’s an implied agreement that their site is secure, and it clearly is not.
Either way, though, I’ve now got to find another place. The storage place (further away) that we have a 10×20 foot locker has outside parking pads, but we checked it out and they don’t even HAVE a fence around much of the property! There are poles, but no fence. Very weird. We’ve never had any problems in our locker, but it’s a middle unit on a middle row and there’s no sign of what’s inside it. Outside parking would be on a concrete pad (nice) originally intended to be the floor of another row of storage units, but it’s completely exposed and no fence.
I’ve got a couple of other options I’m going to try, but this is a complete pain in the ass. And I don’t have any tools in the middle of racing season. Well, excuse me: I have the aforementioned Torx and Phillips screwdrivers as well as a magnetic parts tray and 6 SAE-unit hex (Allen) key sockets, which were in my truck because I used them last week, but I don’t have any ratchet handles to use them with. I have a small tool set at the house, but that’s for house use, and doesn’t have anything big enough to tackle a lug nut on the Cobra, let alone anything else I’m likely to need to do on it during a typical race weekend.
Like I didn’t have enough on my plate already. Now I have to spend time fixing this, too.