News 12 First at Five / Tuesday, July 9, 2013
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (WRDW) -- As the saying goes, "locks keep an honest man out," but they couldn't keep out a couple of thieves from ransacking units at two warehouses on Edgefield Road. Both Summit Self Storage and Carolina Mini Warehouses were hit.
"Multiple units were broken into, as well as some vehicles that were parked here in this storage unit area," said Capt. Eric Abdullah with the Aiken County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives and management worked all morning to notify renters to come out and survey the losses. Several units and RVs took a hit at Summit's. Three more units were broken into next door.
"It's painful for us because we like to assure our renters they're going to be safe," said Carolina Mini Warehouses owner Cheryl Wiggins.
Wiggins says this isn't the first time they've been hit.
"It happened last year. Same spots in the fence. Same thing where they went in and got to the RVs, so we suspect it's the same people," she said.
The suspects had to battle the woods and cut through the fence to get to the storage units.
The locks were another similarity. All three units that were broken into had ordinary locks. Bolt cutters snapped right through them.
Wiggins says the best way to avoid that is a round lock. She says they're only about $9 apiece, and she believes they're the key to avoiding break-in number three. She's never had a break-in to a unit using one of those locks.
"We've made an executive decision this morning. Anybody that rents from us is getting one of those round locks because you can't get into them," she said.
Luckily, nothing was taken from her three units. It's the same outcome from the seven units that were hit last year. She says it's an odd similarity about a year apart, but Wiggins says TV might be the culprit.
"I think they're watching 'Storage Wars' on TV too much. I hope they've learned their lesson that we've got some pretty boring units over here, and just leave us alone," she begged.
Deputies are still working to figure out what was taken from Summit Self Storage. All we know is more than 10 units were hit. Wiggins says it sounds like the RVs took the hardest hit.
There is surveillance video of the units. Investigators are already reviewing the footage.