Oregon police are investigating the break-ins last week of seven trailers at 159 N. Lallendorf Road.
The thefts occurred on Friday, Feb. 17.
The trailers were located behind a business for storage, according to Oregon Police Sgt. Tim Zale.
“They’re just winter storage for holiday campers, that kind of thing,” said Zale.
Stolen items include stereo equipment, flat screen TVs, radios, a coffeemaker and space heater.
The thieves broke windows and doors to get inside, and damaged both the interior and exterior of the trailers.
“It’s not a bonafide storage facility,” said Zale. “There were no surveillance cameras or security at the site. As a matter of fact, there’s a lot of entry points where someone could have come in from out there. It’s dark and out of the way.”
Zale said there have been issues in the past with thieves breaking into secure lots that are gated.
“There might be limited access at night. A lot of storage facilities close their gates at certain times in the evening, and you can’t get in unless you have a pass key or code. Even with those, we had a rash of break-ins in storage facilities near the end of last year,” said Zale. Thieves went through vehicles stored there and broke into the actual storage units.
“But we’re pretty close to actually cleaning that up. We have some very good suspects on those right now,” said Zale, adding that he does not know if last week’s trailer thefts are related to the break-ins last year.
“I don’t have anything to go on right now. Doesn’t mean we won’t. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of tracking the property. But a lot of thieves are getting a little smarter about what they do with the property. It used to be pretty easy. A lot of them would pawn it. We would track it that way. But now it seems they are taking it out of town to sell it. Sometimes, that’s the most difficult part. And the property that is reported stolen, a lot of times people don’t really have an accurate description of it or a serial or model number, and it’s very difficult to prove that’s where that came from.”
The public should record the brand names and serial numbers of higher end items such as big screen TVs, he said, so there’s a better chance of police recovering the items if they’re stolen.
He urged the public to check out the location of a storage site to reduce the risk of theft.
“Before you set your mind on a specific facility, look and see how secure it is, if there’s an on-site resident - which many times there is - if there is a security and video system, or any kind of security at all to put your mind a little more at ease. Nothing is ever 100 percent fool proof. Usually, these facilities are out of the way locations, near a field. Thieves will come in from behind, cut the fence, and crawl in. It’s difficult.”
The N. Lallendorf Road location is not a secure site for storage, he added.
“It’s a very out of the way place. I had no idea anyone was storing anything back there. That’s how out of the way it is. I was kind of surprised to see what was back there,” he said.
There have also been reports of trailer break-ins in Sylvania Township and Holland.
Holland Sgt. Todd Shelton said there were break-ins of nine trailers at Outback Storage, 6660 Mall Drive on Feb. 9.
The doors of some of the trailers were damaged, he said, without anything stolen inside. Other trailers had damage to the doors and windows, and had items such as TVs and a jar of coins, stolen.
There are no suspects, said Shelton, and the matter remains under investigation.
In Sylvania Township, police are continuing to investigate the thefts of TVs and other electronic equipment from trailers at the Central Storage Depot on West Central Avenue on Feb. 15.