INDIANAPOLIS — Adrienne Allen's family thought a storage unit at Securcare Self Storage would be a safe place to keep belongings while they lived with family during hard times brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
They moved personal belongings to a unit at the storage company located off Kentucky Avenue near Interstate 465, but they were shocked on the Fourth of July to discover thieves had pried open the door and stole a safe, softball equipment, a toolbox and other items.
"I have a lot of anxiety, I have a lot of anger, and I'm just deeply upset," the mother of three said. "Never in your life do you think it's going to happen to you. When we first turned the corner, we were shocked. We didn't know what to think."
It wasn't just the Allens' unit. She said she noticed at least three other units that day that were robbed and areas of the security fence that were broken.
"We've depended on these storage companies to store our lives and so when you pull up and see something like that, you're heartbroken," Allen said. "You just feel broken. You feel lost with having things that are irreplaceable items stolen."
Allen said the company's management called her a few weeks later to let her know someone else used her personal check to try to reserve another unit at the same location. She said the check came from her stolen safe.
"These are things that people cannot get back and that they can't pass down to their children because of something that you've taken from them," Allen said. "Everything we've worked so hard to provide for our children, you've taken."
The section where Allen's unit was located at Securcare does not have security cameras, unlike the area near the office. She said she has seen tenants on company property after hours.
Since the burglary, the Allen family moved out of their unit and returned last weekend to drop off paperwork. Allen has filed at least three police reports with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.
"All I'm doing is encouraging you to check on your things," she said. "Check on your lives because so many of us have had it stolen and some of us don't even know it."
Allen said she is considering hiring a lawyer to resolve the issues and she wants those responsible to be brought to justice. Her family had tenant insurance, but more was taken than would be covered under the policy.
Securcare Self Storage management has not returned WRTV's request for comment.
How to keep yourself safe
Some things to keep in mind if you need to keep personal items in a storage unit.
Storage unit companies almost always require insurance, but coverage options can vary from one company to another. The most common ways to gain coverage are to purchase insurance from the storage facility, use your own coverage or go through a third party.
The Insurance Information Institute says some storage companies may try to force you to use their insurance, but you should compare what they offer to what your own insurance offers.
If the storage company does not budge, consider looking elsewhere.