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1 Search Warrant Turns Into 3

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  • 1 Search Warrant Turns Into 3

    Last week I got a call from the local police department, asking me if I had someone as a tenant. They gave me a couple names, none of them rang a bell as being a tenant so I went about my way. Two days later I get a call from a detective asking me the same questions. He said that he believed so and so had a storage unit at my facility and he was storing stolen property in it. I reconfirm that I don't have the name he is looking for.

    I ask him to give me a picture of a vehicle that he is looking for and a date and time I should look in my access logs and cameras. I find the vehicle at a corresponding time given to me by the detective, I also saw on camera items being verified as stolen being placed into the storage unit.

    Luckily I had just about a month ago had some brand new 4k cameras installed covering that area, so I had excellent quality footage. I sent the footage to the detective and he obtained a search warrant for 8:45 am the next morning.

    I arrive the next morning about 8:45am, and the detective approaches me saying that they arrived to find a situation. They take me over to a vehicle which was parked in my outdoor parking lot near the unit they were about to search. There is a Backpack leaf blower and other tools in the trunk, backseat etc. It looked like it was a vehicle full of loot from a break in. They had this person stopped and they were talking to a tenant of mine that was there at the time also. The person that was in the outdoor parking area claimed the white car with the trunk and doors open was not his, that he was at the facility with his friend in unit xyz. Detective asks me to go inside and review footage to let them know how and when that white vehicle gets onto the facility.

    I reviewed the access logs and videos to see two vehicles arrive on the property at the same time. My NVR was acting up so it took some time to review the footage. I found that they arrived at 7:55am that for the most part they remained separate, but did converse at my tenants unit from time to time. I found the person who drove the white car to the outside parking area to be looking at vehicles in my outside storage. The NVR was acting up even more so I decide to put the storage into repair mode in hopes of improving performance.

    I go back outside and inform the officers that are there about the order of events who drove what onto the property, what items the guy driving the white car brought from the car to my tenants unit. They send one of the detectives that was on the property to obtain search warrants for my tenants storage unit and the white car parked in the outside storage. Guy driving white car is arrested for possession of a controlled substance. Tenant waits a while with other officers.

    Now it is time for me to get back to what we were there for originally. I cut the lock on the unit that they had the warrant to search. I open the door and it is a 10x20 full of tools. I haven't mentioned this yet, but there were 5 detectives and several other officers on the property. They had an armada of 6 or 7 vehicles that they arrived with. So I let them all go to work on the unit gathering their evidence, and logging all the property. I go back to the office to see how the NVR is doing. Deal with a couple other things.

    I grab waters for the officers and head back out to where they are working so I can investigate what is going on with the new incident. I look around the outside storage area where the white car is parked. I see some items sitting on the ground in between 2 RV's and some side compartments opened. I go over to one of the detectives and asked if they noticed these 2 RV's had been broken into. They hadn't so I show them what I found and retreat to the office to call the 2 customers to request they come out to see if anything was missing.

    At this time I have my NVR working better and I can see that guy driving the white car broke into the two RV's about 15 minutes before the police arrived. They literally caught hm red handed breaking into the RV's, and they didn't actually know it until I looked around after the fact. Because of our 8:45 am appointment nothing was stolen from the RV's, there was just 3 items sitting outside the RV's and we were able to return them back to the owners.

    I go back and do some more work in the office for a bit, and then bring back out another round of water. The officer's decided to let my tenant leave. They had him unload some items from his vehicle and leave the key to his unit. The detectives had a tarp on the ground covered in thousands of dollars in tools. Taking pictures and logging serial numbers. It looks to me that they are going to be there a while and may need a larger vehicle. At this point another 4 detectives from neighboring agencies come to look over the score of stolen loot to see if there is anything they can connect to cases of theirs.

    It is now about 2:30pm and the search warrants for the white car and my tenants unit have now come in. They find the back pack I mentioned from footage in my tenants storage unit which contained the keys to the white car. But nothing stolen in my tenants unit. White car has several stolen items in its trunk and back seat.

    At this point in the afternoon I start getting random contractors appearing at my door. The police had already started calling the owners of the property to come positively identify their property and to recover it. There were 5 different sets of people that came to look over property, not everyone found the items they were hoping were there. The police returned some items, seized some items, and left some stuff behind. At this point they were wrapped up and I am just left with the white car parked in someone else's outside parking spot. I call up the tow company to get the car taken away.

    Tow truck driver arrives, asks about storage auctions. Mentions that his sister has a unit with me that is behind, and he doesn't want to see it get sold. Small freaking world right...... He isn't listed on the account so I can't give him any details. But I explain that her unit is not in my upcoming set of auctions. He is interested in the process so I give him details on how to look at our online auctions.

    White car is gone time to get some termination of rental agreement notices sent out and calls made to unit with search warrant 1 and search warrant 2 and 3. I get that taken care of and go home.

    I am going to leave this story right here for now. But this story continues Part 2 will include People associated with search warrant 1 wanting to rent another unit! White car guy is back on the property, he is with another tenant, and then ends ups talking and knowing another tenant. Then Renter of search unit 1 will arrive and wonder why they can't get in to the facility!!! And much more stay tuned........

  • #2
    WOW!

    Following this feed for part 2.

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh my goodness,all in a day's work.I know for a fact that all of us can write a book about our experiences.
      I'm looking forward to part 2 of the story.

      Comment


      • #4
        Been there done that! And I got a free trip to Minneapolis to testify in Federal Court as the icing on my cake! I didn't have to notify anyone, though, because the suspect/tenant came to enter his unit while FBI/CIA/Homeland Security/Local LEO's were there searching. He was arrested on the spot. That was 2009 or 2010. He's still in Federal Prison!
        MamaDuke

        Comment


        • #5
          Holy guacamole!
          Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

          WA State

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          • #6
            As the Storage World Turns...

            Comment


            • #7

              Good grief RandyL - never a dull moment.

              When I worked a property in Pinole, CA, I was served a search warrant, the customer in question was a meth maker. In the unit it was discovered the glassware used to make the stuff and had residue on it, which turned the situation into a HazMat case... all the guys show up with their white jumpsuits/masks on and confiscated the stuff. The facility was billed 4K due to the "clean up" involved. We were told that as landlords we should have known what was going on. Give me a break! - I'm not standing there with a inventory sheet when people are moving in. The only thing out of the norm regarding the customer in question is he was busted one time for have sex with his girlfriend in the customer restroom.

              Comment


              • #8
                When I worked in Tucson, I had 2 black SUV's, a sheriffs car and a few unmarked police cars roll into the parking lot one morning. They had a search warrant for one of my tenants.After reviewing the paperwork, we cut the lock for them and stood back and recorded everything with my phone. It looked like a normal unit. Couch, mattresses, a dresser, boxes.... then they started to move things out and going through all the drawers. They were FULL, I mean like 1000's of people ID's, passports, drivers licenses from all over the United States.Then they uncovered a few pieces of machinery that you would typically find at the DMV or licensing Dept. Tenant was arrested after they got his address from me in the office, and let go within 48 hours. He comes into the office a week later like nothing happened and wants to pay for next months rent, while talking about how he sang like a canary,and gave the Feds a few names of bigger fish to drop the charges. Not the sharpest crayon in the box I have to say.....I handed him a termination notice instead.He didnt even blink. Just said, OK, Ill be out by the end of the month. Then he left.Crazy stuff.I cant believe the let him go like that.
                You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wc1974 View Post
                  When I worked in Tucson, I had 2 black SUV's, a sheriffs car and a few unmarked police cars roll into the parking lot one morning. They had a search warrant for one of my tenants.After reviewing the paperwork, we cut the lock for them and stood back and recorded everything with my phone. It looked like a normal unit. Couch, mattresses, a dresser, boxes.... then they started to move things out and going through all the drawers. They were FULL, I mean like 1000's of people ID's, passports, drivers licenses from all over the United States.Then they uncovered a few pieces of machinery that you would typically find at the DMV or licensing Dept. Tenant was arrested after they got his address from me in the office, and let go within 48 hours. He comes into the office a week later like nothing happened and wants to pay for next months rent, while talking about how he sang like a canary,and gave the Feds a few names of bigger fish to drop the charges. Not the sharpest crayon in the box I have to say.....I handed him a termination notice instead.He didnt even blink. Just said, OK, Ill be out by the end of the month. Then he left.Crazy stuff.I cant believe the let him go like that.
                  This is exactly what happened with me. But my guy (a Nigerian) they called the "Kingpin" in a Russian identity theft ring. Clearly he must have been since he's still in prison over 10 years later!
                  MamaDuke

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                  • #10
                    That's a wild LONG day with a hole extra entree of crazy!!! Good to see you made it through with good enough spirits to share with us. Thanks.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Part 2......

                      So lets give a little more back story...

                      The person who was using the original unit that the police requested to search (Not the person whose name was on the rental agreement) was arrested after a high speed chase the day before the warrant was served. He has been in jail and is not expected to be out for some time.

                      Day after all this excitement I get a message from someone calling themselves Ann via a contact form on my web site. It asks if it is possible to make payments on other peoples units. I respond to the message saying yes, but we are unable to share account information if you are not listed on the account. I get a response back saying great! I would like to get a unit in the way back of your facility. (the unit that was searched the day before was in the back). When I get this message their gmail account gave away their actual name due to me using hosted G Suite for my email services. This alerted me to the relation to the person who was now in jail. I send her a response stringing her along and then reach out the the detectives.

                      I figured that the police may like to see me rent a unit to this person, and then setup a sting to watch them break into the unit they searched only to find all the stuff was already gone. This was not the case the police didn't have an interest in this person since they already recovered the property and had their person in jail. It turns out that this person never responded to any further messages anyway not sure if I will hear anything more from them or not.

                      Next day I get a hold of the other tenant that I decided to terminate their rental agreement due to them letting white car guy onto the property. Upon review of footage we also found he was storing a Lincoln Navigator in his unit which was in violation of the agreement as well. I start talking to him explaining the time line to remove items. How it can only be done while we are there, and that I will be denying access in other times. At this point he puts his wife or GF on the phone. She wants details about what is going on. It is clear her spouse or BF didn't give her all the information. She almost immediately name drops a big attorney in town asking if I would have time to talk to him that afternoon. I said absolutely. After that I said suggested that she allow me to explain all the reasons why I have decided to take the action.

                      1. He let the person onto the property who broke into multiple RV's and had stolen property in his vehicle. She turns to him and asks if that is the case, I hear him say in the background that he followed him in. I then say, they arrived from the same direction, pulled up beside each other, your BF puts the code in and he goes in first followed by your BF...... She says Oh.....

                      2. She says he doesn't really know the guy that he is just an acquaintance. That her BF was just working on her vehicle which had a tire issue. I could see that most of the time he was there he was messing with the vehicle tire. She claimed that they didn't interact. I them told her that I have white car guy coming over to their unit multiple times. He even left some items and a black backpack in his unit, which when search was found to contain the keys to the white car. She says Oh.......

                      3. She tries to explain that her BF is a good Christian man and that this is not in his character, that they made a mistake associating with this person. I told them that this may be true, but he still let someone onto my property that shouldn't of been there that ended up breaking into 2 different RV's. My tenants expect me to take action. I told them I am not going to fine them and I don't believe the police will charge them.

                      4. I bring up the vehicle that is also in the unit in violation of the rental agreement. Oh AAA was supposed to come and get that, that is why it was not in our name. We have been waiting on them and didn't have any where else to put it.

                      I tell it is just best if we all part ways, she agrees and they come out and start removing items, no call from her lawyer friend.

                      Next Day.......

                      Back Story

                      Had a person rent a unit online, a few days earlier I had found the unit without a lock right after move in. I called the tenant to explain that all units must be locked and we want to a lock that can't be cut off with bolt cutters like a disc lock. He says he needs to talk to his girl friend and he would get back to us. Next day unit has a crap lock on it. I also got a message via my web site contact function from him asking what the process was to change his gate code. I have tried multiple times to call him again to talk about that with no answer.

                      So on the next day I see new renters gate code get entered onto the key pad. I had just done a new rental and needed to place a lock in the unit for the person who would arrive later that day. So I decide I am going to go put the lock in the unit and talk to the new renter to see if I could help with the gate code. In my travels I come across a set of tenants who were sitting in their car. There was a person outside the vehicle talking to them, and they say my name and I go over to the vehicle. They tell me that they had a car they had to move and they just parked in my outside parking area, and they need to have a place to store it for a couple days. I go look and of course it is in a rented spot. I say it needs to move, that if it is just a couple days I have a different spot they can use. We talk about the excitement that happened the week before. Then I tell them white car guys name.

                      They say that is the guy that was just outside the vehicle talking to him. That he is homeless and that he hangs around street XYZ. I asked which way he went, they didn't know. I asked what he was doing there, and they didn't know. I say I need to go find him and call the police, that I am going to have a trespass put against him and get him off the property right away. I look around a bit and don't see him so I stop by to talk to the person I originally wanted to talk to.

                      In the hallway I find 3 people which appear to have been dropped off at the facility. Two people sitting in the unit and one standing in the hall leaning against the wall. I thought I recognized this person as white car guy, and tell him that he needs to leave the property right away and that he is not welcome here. I ask if the other male is the renter of the unit he says no. The female that was deeper in the unit said it was her stuff in the unit. At this point I was not certain if the person leaning against the wall was white car guy or not. I explain that I am going to review my camera footage and call the police.

                      I go back to the office pull up my cameras, I had a friend in the office helping me so I gave her the detectives business card and said get this guy on the phone while I am looking at this footage. That we need a trespass put against white car guy and he may still be on the property. I find where the 3 people come to access new tenants unit including white car guy. I give police the license plate number of the car that dropped them off. I give them the name of the new renter. In response I get a long sigh.... Sounds like someone I don't want to have as a renter. I look at some more footage tracing his steps. Then I see him go back to my tenants that had just parked their extra car on the facility. He gets in their car and leaves the facility with them. At this point I am like what the **** just happened. The people that tipped me off that he was there just drove him off the property after I told them I was calling the police on him. BTW white car guy was the one leaning against the wall.

                      So now I call the tenant that still has the car parked in another persons spot. They didn't answer, of course.... I deny access to new tenants unit and try to call the tenant on file who was not one of the 3 people there. Still no answer from him. I figure if they want access bad enough he will call. Later I get a call back from the person who drove white car guy off the property. I ask what in the world is going on. I tell you this guy just broke into vehicles on this property, and they I am calling the police to have him removed. Their response was well we didn't know if what you were telling us was true. He asked for a ride so we just gave it to them. They said they are not going to use the temp storage because they don't want that guy breaking into their car...... The same guy they just didn't take my word about.......

                      At this point I am drafting a termination letter for new tenant because he still hasn't returned calls, and whoever it was that had his code and unit number brought and dropped off white car guy back on the property. I just don't want any of this trouble. I am considering terminating the rental agreement of the people that drove him off the property. But they have had their unit for over a year, and I may give them more leeway.

                      I bet you all thought I was done now..... man this is another long post. Remember I said that the original renter of Search Warrant unit 1 would show up.

                      So near the end of the day I have someone entering wrong codes over and over again. They pull up next to the office and I go outside to see if I can offer some assistance. They explain their code isn't working. I tell them that none of the code combinations they entered are proper codes. I ask who they are. They tell me that they are search warrant unit 1 renter. I tell them I tried to call , text, and I sent a notice via email 3 days ago last Friday. Oh I changed my number last week I didn't get those. I explained what happened, her jaw drops. I ask for verification of who she is and then offer to take them back to the unit. I open it up, she says this unit is supposed to have my furniture in it. Almost none of the items she expected were there. I tell them they have xyz number of days to get the stuff out. They said they would be back today, but they didn't show again. My bet is I will never see them again.


                      This is now the end, at this point there is not a Part 3, but there could end up being more to come to this story. What do you guys think do I give the 12+ month renter any slack for being an acquaintance of white car guy and driving him off the property before the police could get there? If I terminate their rental agreement it wouldn't be for grounds of violating the agreement and be immediate like the other 3.

                      I honestly think it would be best to just rid myself of everybody connected to this circumstance regardless of how good a tenant they may have been.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Wow that post looks longer than the first one, I knew I should of made that into 3 parts lol

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I think you are correct to rid yourself of anyone connected. They basically called you a liar and helped someone get away that you warned them about....now they don't feel safe storing their car there because of said thief that they befriended. Ima just pray for you...this sounds like a mess.

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                          • #14
                            IMO they ALL need to go. 12+ month customer just proved they cannot be trusted, either.
                            MamaDuke

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                            • #15
                              Definitely get rid of them ALL.....you don't need that drama.

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