So obviously there is an issue with people sleeping in the units/facility at night (or during the day) and theft as well. I think it would be good to share some experiences so that we know some of the "signs" to look for out there. Here are a couple of my recent experiences:
1) On a walk through, a unit was found with a cylinder lock inserted backwards. The man occupying the unit had locked the unit from the inside... Pinched the butterfly closed and pushed the lock in, and opened the unit. The guy was evicted..
2) A few summers ago, a very professional middle aged woman rented a unit. After a series of break in complaints, we figured out what she was doing:
She would canvass the facility for padlock units. She then took pictures of those padlocks and went out and purchased the same looking locks. She then came back, cut the original locks, and replaced them with the look-a likes which she had the keys to. Over the course of the next year, we had people coming in complaining that their key wouldn't open their lock. The last man came in only 7 months ago. He hadn't been to his unit in a few years (typical). I went with him, and sure enough, the key wouldn't even go in. We cut the lock off, and he just about cried when he discovered that about 1/3 of his 10x10 unit had been ransacked and taken. Our solution: we religiously use security stickers on all padlock units and inspect the facility daily. (We also don't allow any padlocks anymore, only disc and cylinder locks)
3)A woman was living in her unit. We could have discovered it early had we noticed the painted (same color as the wall) extention cord that ran from the power outlet in the ceiling to her unit.
4) A girl rented a unit and paid generally on time and then all of a sudden stopped. She was about to go to auction, so I did my best to try to contact her. Eventually, I checked the "who's in jail" website, and low and behold, there she was. Multiple felony counts: auto theft, possession of stolen items, possession of narcotic(s). That didn't exactly change anything in her case, but I rested better at night when her unit was sold (for almost $1200)..
5) Upon opening up, I went into the emergency stairwell. I was startled to say the least to find a man and a dog sleeping inside under the stairs. How the hell did he get in there? When I asked him, he said that he was a tenant, and that he had got locked in accidentally. (This can actually happen if you go into this area of the facility and you are after hours, your code will not let you out)
I checked the camera work.. He was NOT a tenant. However, he helped a tenant move in the prior day. He remembered her access code. He entered the facility during access hours, walked straight back to the emergency stairwell, and closed the door. LIAR! Our solution: give any movers a temporary code, or change the tenant's code after "helpers" move them in.