It has been since last July since I had to make THAT call or see THAT look in my tenant's eyes. Honestly, I hate it. It is not the surly customers, the pulling weeds in the rain, sweeping in sweltering heat, or even watching 8 units succumb to this months 80+ mile an hour winds. It is the thieves and what they do to peoples lives and memories and at times makes me want to quit.
It happened this weekend. 2nd event of this young year. Both times to tenants I have gotten to know and cared about. This sucks.
So enough therapy. Here's the situation. We have our buildings as our primary perimeter, generally a minimum of 12 ft high. There are gaps (1 per side) in between our buildings. In each gap there is a chainlink fence overlayed and over-bolted with sheet metal siding. There is no evidence, this time, that anyone came over the fences, though it is possible. Our Front is an automatic gate with a key code entry and weight-plate exit. The weakest link in all of this is a 2 1/2 foot high gap under one section of the gate where the rain channel runs underneath it to carry water to the roadway.
Our gate locks at 10pm. No one gets in. You have to approximate the weight of a car to activate the gate to get out.
I have seen video of a few bags being tossed over a fence thanks to a neighbors camera. But much of the stuff was big, bulky, and cumbersome. things like an over-sized chair, a crate full of antique firearms, a rolling tool cart full of tools, etc.
Does anyone have any thoughts on how this stuff left my lot, without the gate camera seeing anything? (No unusual gate code activity, either). Have y'all ever experience anything like this. I know from past experience that may lot cameras (the ones that ironically have not been stolen) will be worthless at any sort of positive ID of people or vehicles. And are Officers basically useless to you in these situations? Here, at best, they are apathetic generally condescending, and in the event early this year, they actually told my tenant that it was his opinion that I had something to do with it. and that if it were him, he would leave this place as fast as possible and never look back.
So Again my questions:
1) how do you think the perps are getting in, and more importantly OUT of my facility with a raft of large items.
2) have you ever been able to successfully curtail criminal activity at your facility.
3) do you have any suggestions for this newb? (Dont say more or better cameras, I have sung that song to death. Its a non-started with those at corporate.
4) Is this just a part of it and I better get used to it?
5) From a customer stand point. We have a protection plan that acts similar to insurance. But we make the tenant provide receipts on anything we replace. Is that standard? How to you handle family heirlooms or things that have been owned for more than 5-10 year and the receipt has been lost?
6) Any suggestions that have worked in your facility are appreciated. I jsut need help keeping my tenants stuff, their stuff!