Victims find storage units burglarized


It's patched up today, but the sight of a storage facility fence has Lee Smith seeing red.  Thieves used bolt cutters to shimmy through the barbed-wire fence protecting Socrum Self Storage in Lakeland.

It was all caught on camera early Friday morning. The two men wiped out 40 storage units.

"Went to my storage unit, lock was gone. I opened the door and the bikes were gone," Smith said Monday.

One of those bicycles belonged to his 11-year-old daughter.

"She wasn't happy. She was upset about it. She knows that I don't have the money to replace the stuff right now but it is what it is," Smith said.

Smith's unit was protected by a padlock. In this day and age, Polk deputies advise that's not enough. They say circular locks are your best bet, as they're nearly impossible for crooks to cut through.

"If they can't cut that lock off, they're going to move to the next item that doesn't have a lock on it," Polk County Sheriff's Office's Carrie Horstman said.

Still, Smith fears no level of protection can keep out a bold burglar.

"I figure if they want to get into it, they'll get into it," he offered.

The sheriff's office says the burglars were last seen leaving in a dark-colored Chevy Avalanche. If you have any information, give them a call or leave an anonymous tip with Heartland Crime Stoppers.

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