PE Ledger

Do you have anything in self-storage? Something you need to know about the rising number of thefts

Most security techniques, according to a storage specialist, fall short.

Tina So, an artist from Hong Kong, required a storage facility for some artworks and family treasures when she came to Vancouver two years ago.

She chose Sentinel Storage in Richmond, B.C., because of the promise of a cutting-edge security system.

So’s self-assurance was shattered when she first opened her storage unit in August.

She told Go Public, “I couldn’t believe my eyes.” “I double-checked the lock on the door. I was under the idea that I had accessed someone else’s locker.”

Her significant works of art from the previous 10 years, as well as other paintings she had gathered, as well as family china and other treasures, had all vanished.

“The first thing I did was a dash to the lobby and inform them that there was a problem!”

It was the start of a mystery that, according to So, shouldn’t be difficult to unravel, considering that Sentinel Storage boasts round-the-clock security, video surveillance, and individually keyed access to doors and gates.

“You give them everything precious, and there’s no guarantee that they’ll preserve it well,” So explained.

According to a January survey by research firm IBISWorld, thousands of people throughout the country have stored their personal items in public storage, resulting in a $9 billion business in Canada.

At the same time, the covid has resulted in business closures and job losses, causing an increase in self-storage facility theft, according to security expert Alex Vourkoutiotis, chief technology officer of Caliber Communications in Hamilton company that provides various types of corporate security.

“Theft increases as a result of mass layoffs. It’s an awful side effect, but it’s a fact of life, “According to Vourkoutiotis.

There are no national data on storage crime, but Vourkoutiotis claims that he and his colleagues in the industry have witnessed a significant increase.

The number of attempted thefts at facilities monitored by his company has nearly tripled, from 135 in 2020 to 348 in the first ten months of 2021.

Sentinel Storage declined to comment on So’s case since no one was available for an interview but released a statement saying the firm was “sincerely sorry for the loss,” that security is “essential” to its service, and that it works closely with law authorities when theft occurs.

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