Around 20 units burglarized overnight at Red Dot Storage in Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Renters at Red Dot Storage in Independence are ready to pack up after a string of burglaries.

Independence police said the facility was hit again overnight, and for some of the renters it wasn't the first time.

Investigators say around 20 units were burglarized on Wednesday night. Renters are now sorting through what's left while investigators search for those responsible.

Eli Recknor and his girlfriend put their stuff in storage at Red Dot on Sunday. The businesses' price point drew them in.

"We just needed a safe, secure place that they had promised on the website when we were looking at reviews," Recknor said

However, safe and secure isn't what they got just days after renting their unit. They got a call from the facility that their lock was gone, and their unit was broken into.

"My brother's tattooing equipment that was easily $500," Recknor said. "Electronics. I had cords, I had video games, I had a laptop, everything."

Recknor says about $1,500 dollars of their belongings are gone.

For more than 3 years, Todd Smith has been with Red Dot. He uses the facility to store everything he needs for his bathroom remodeling business.

"This is not a secure unit," Smith said. "I need to move my stuff elsewhere."

A month ago, Smith said, his unit was burglarized as well. Smith said they cut through the sheet metal between units to crawl through and hit a bunch of them at once.

"I've got about $4,000 worth of tools taken," Smith said.

Both Smith and Recknor said the facility isn't as secure as they thought it was at first.

"There is nowhere near the amount of security cameras," Recknor said. "There's a backdoor to this parking lot. Who puts a backdoor to a storage lot that is easily jumpable. It's only a six-foot private fence. As far as barb wire and secureness the only thing they have that on is the front gate."

"Every time I call them because we can't get in the gate they say it's going to be an hour or two before someone can get here," Smith said.

Recknor is moving his stuff out over the next few days. He doesn't want to risk this happening all over again.

"We don't want our stuff here anymore," Recknor said. "Not if they're going to come in and break into other storage units, or possibly break back into our storage unit."

Smith said he's wanted to move out for the past month, but with bad weather, and his business keeping him busy, it's just a waiting game for better weather.

"I guess people should just work as hard as a job as they do to steal stuff from people," Smith said. "They'd probably be better off."

FOX4 reached out to Red Dot Storage about the break-ins, and President and CEO Chuck James provided the following statement:

“Red Dot is aware of the recent break-ins at RD80 and cares very deeply about our customers and their belongings. We are taking a lot of strides to improve the security through increased video surveillance, sting operations with local police, and hiring 24-hour security guards. We have been successful in the past and are committed to fixing this issue.”

Around 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Independence police said they've arrested a suspect in connection to a string of storage facility burglaries in the city over the past few weeks. Formal charges have not been filed at this time, so the suspect's name has not been released.

Independence police said recovered stolen property will be released at the end of the agency's investigation.

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