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A dozen storage lockers burglarized in Lakeland

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Posted at 5:24 PM, Jun 28, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-28 17:43:25-04

Heavy-duty locks didn't stop storage locker thieves from getting inside more than a dozen units in Lakeland.

Two men burglarized a rash of lockers at 92 Storage, getting away with TV's, guns, and other equipment.

It's not the first time criminal have targeted self-storage facilities in Polk County, either. In February 40 lockers were broken into at Socrum Self Storage in Lakeland. Both incidents were caught on camera.

"I walked up and my lock was cut laying on the ground," Johnny Bebee, a victim of the theft said.

Bebee says he lost more than $6,000 in equipment for his tree-trimming business.

"Climbing ropes, a lot of equipment," Bebee told ABC Action News as he was cutting down a tree in Lakeland.

The type of lock victims used were lock-necked locks, an easy target according to a local lock smith.
But, there is a better option, one thieves may avoid because they take longer to cut through.

"This is probably the most popular of all for storage facilities," Frank Lampone, with Access Safe & Lock Co. said.

Lampone pointed to a discus type lock that looked heavy-duty, circular and has a smaller neck.

"Almost none of the shackle is exposed and it sticks off a door like this", Lampone demonstrated that thieves can't get their thick bolt cutters around the neck and if they do, it will most likely damage their equipment.

Many customers usually avoid this type of lock because it's a few dollars more.

ABC Action News priced out the locks. The discuss, more durable, kind was about $18 in Polk County. The extended-neck lock, around $11.

But the extra cost could be worth the headache if you're trying to prevent theft.

Despite both thefts being caught on camera, investigators are not yet linking either storage locker theft together.