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More break-ins at Colorado Springs storage facility continues to raise security concerns

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) - A Colorado Springs resident's storage unit at Otter Self Storage on Oro Blanco Drive in East Colorado Springs was broken into twice in three weeks.

It’s the latest in a string of break-ins that have left customers raising security concerns.

In mid-February, Dwyane Conkle received a call from Otter Self Storage. They told him his unit was unsecured. When he arrived, a maintenance worker was replacing the hasps on a number of units that had been cut.

Conkle opened his unit and found many of his tools and military gear, including body armor and pocket knives, were stolen.

Conkle said he noticed other expensive items, like his paint sprayer, weren’t taken. However, that wasn’t the case three weeks later, when his unit was broken into again in the exact same way. This time the paint sprayer was stolen as well as personal mementos, like military coins, which he said had no monetary value.

“These are things that I can't get back that were personal to me that they didn't take because I don't think they were valuable the first time but they took them the second time,” Conkle said.

Conkle said all the tools, military gear, and items that were stolen totaled about $18,000. After the second break-in, Conkle moved out of the storage facility because of the lack of security measures.

“After my first incident when we had like seven or so units broken into, you would have thought that they would have hired somebody or something like that,” Conkle said. “But they did nothing. They didn't increase (security) and had nobody on site.”

KRDO13 Investigates found an office on site but it was locked and no one was there. Conkle said no one is ever at the facility. Their website even touts not having office hours and how the facilities are fully automated. We also called the phone number for the facility but it was redirected to a company call center. Multiple representatives said they couldn’t comment but directed us to the company’s legal team. We are still waiting for a response.

But the company responded to a poor Google review about this same break-in. They said, “Unfortunately, we are facing increased criminal activity at several of our facilities. When a break-in is reported we take these matters seriously and we have processes in place to inform affected parties and cooperate with the authorities with any needed security camera footage when it is requested to assist with possible apprehension of the trespassing parties.”

This isn’t the first time customers have raised security concerns with Otter Self Storage. About a year ago, KRDO13 Investigates reported multiple break-ins at the same facility, where the alleged thieves broke through the plywood connecting multiple units. Two classic cars, letters between a Vietnam soldier and his wife, a father’s coin collection, and family antiques, were just some of the items stolen during that hundred-thousand-dollar break-in.

“Clearly, it's a problem that's ongoing,” Conkle said. “They do nothing to fix it or mitigate the issue. If you're not going to take an active role in providing security for a business that you're securing goods, then you're not a good business.”

The Colorado Springs Police Department said it received seven burglary calls at the Otter Self Storage facility in March and nearly 30 calls in the last year.

“Move out,” Conkle said to customers who currently store their belongings at Otter Self Storage. “Go to Extended Storage or one of these places, Public Storage, that actually has somebody on site and actually has security. This place, I wouldn't trust it.”

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Quinn Ritzdorf

Quinn is a reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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