CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - After dozens of break-ins and burglaries, customers at Extra Space Storage are claiming the company’s lax security policies are allowing thieves to get away easily.
In one lawsuit a customer filed against the company, there are even allegations employees might have stymied the investigation and assisted the burglar.
WBTV filed records requests with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to find out how many break-ins there have been at Extra Space storage locations in Charlotte. In the past five years, there have been at least 60 reported breaking and entering reports filed at Extra Space locations.
Extra Space customer Ridgely Phillips is certain there are more cases that people just don’t know about yet.
“If I were to give anybody who has a unit at Extra Space Storage some advice right now it’s go to your unit today to make sure your things are still there,” Phillips said.
Phillips is suing Extra Space storage after she had hundreds of thousands of dollars of belongings stolen from her units at the North Wendover Road location. Phillips said Extra Space management made promises to her that there were cameras “throughout the facility” and even “in the lights that covered the door of her unit.”
After her units were burglarized, she was told that wasn’t actually true.
An Extra Space spokesperson told WBTV that the company’s best practice is to have security cameras at all facility entrance points.
Phillips does have video of the suspected thief but the manner in which he stole from her unit is even more infuriating to her.
Video shows that the burglar showed up to the facility on a Friday and spent up to four hours loading a van, then returned on Sunday and spent another three and a half hours rifling through Phillips’ units.
Almost the entire time the burglar was wearing a bandana over his face and was parked illegally. But because there are no cameras in the hallways, there’s no certainty about how many units were broken into.
“So far I think three or four people have discovered that they have been robbed,” Phillips said.
An Extra Space spokesperson told WBTV that their policy is not to inform all customers when there has been a break-in on their hall. Instead, managers are supposed to do a lock and unit check every morning and notify customers if there appears to be any damage or attempt at entering illegally.
“I don’t think they cooperated with the police,” Phillips said. “It’s my understanding that police requested they notify the other people on my hall and they did not.”
In her lawsuit, Phillips even says Extra Space employees might have even helped the thief possibly by providing pass codes to the facility or identifying gaps in security.
An Extra Space spokesperson denied that any employees have been involved or assisted in break-ins. The spokesperson also said they cooperate with law enforcement when there are break-ins.
“Our policy is to always cooperate with police on investigations and in the rare event of a break-in, we turn over our surveillance footage and gate entry logs to them,” Extra Space spokesperson McKall Morris wrote in an email to WBTV. “We are constantly evaluating and reevaluating our security systems and make proactive steps to improve security where we can.”
However Phillips says more can be done to save people’s belongings and law enforcement’s time.
“If we can do something about security at these places to prevent these things from happening it would really help the police in Charlotte,” Phillips said.