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Reduce Self-Storage Crime

Posted by David Charney on Sep 15, 2015

Though most self-storage businesses look peaceful when you drive past them or visit them during the day, most business owners and managers know they attract a unique brand of criminals.

You can’t avoid self-storage crime. It happens to virtually all self-storage businesses. Unfortunately, there’s a misconception that you can get by with minimal security protection. But that thinking opens the door for thefts just like retail stores and other outdoor businesses. Having inadequate security like one or two video cameras and one flood light for the night to reduce self-storage crime often does more to attract criminals than it does to deter them.


Think back to your own teen years. When you and your friends wanted to hang out, you typically looked for places that were comfortable, private and adult-free. And let’s face it, teens will always look for the same spot. Unfortunately, in many towns, the local unmonitored self-storage business can easily fit this bill. Teens and other vagrants know exactly how to get in your business and avoid simple, insufficient security measures. They could then:

  • Use your property to consume drugs and alcohol illegally,
  • Damage your business property and drive up maintenance costs, and
  • Even if they’re just using the spot to hang out without supervision, someone could still get hurt, and you might have insurance issues on your hands.


To reduce self-storage crime business owners and managers must deal with criminal theft. Many criminals see self-storage businesses as easy marks. There’s only one lock to bypass on storage units, and if the owner has skimped on security, they’re home-free. People store all types of things in self-storage like:

  • Antiques,
  • Big screen TVs
  • Music equipment, and
  • Power tools

In addition, many self-storage business owners and managers allow renters to choose their own locks and the customer will often choose the cheapest lock, (the one that’s easiest for criminals to cut with bolt cutters). This doesn’t help to reduce self-storage crime. It is why all storage businesses should require customers to buy the strongest lock possible. When a crook peers onto your lot and sees 10-20 cuttable locks, this is attractive to him; even if some of the units have stronger locks.

Illegal Activity

Many people don’t realize that storage units often attract illegal activity. To reduce self-storage crime, as a manager or business owner you should keep your eyes out. When you:

  • Notice a unit is using more power than other units,
  • Smell strange odors like ammonia or even marijuana,
  • Notice that your tenants have built odd shelving structures in their units,
  • See people storing weird item combinations like safes, LED lights and AC units, and
  • See one older person renting the space and a completely different younger person using it

…chances are, you might find that people are using the space to make meth, grow marijuana, or store illegal guns or drugs. You can ask your local police department to bring drug sniffing dogs by once a month and they are usually happy to do so.

However, for all of your other security needs, you need to have an effective system in place that incorporates:

  1. Powerful night vision cameras,
  2. Flood lights, and
  3. 24 hour surveillance by someone with security or police experience

Fortunately, Stealth Monitoring offers you just that so you can reduce self-storage crime. Contact us today to discuss how we can protect your property and business. We understand self-storage security and can work with you to design the right solution for you and deter and reduce self-storage crime. Visit our web site and see actual videos of criminals being apprehended.