In the nearly 30 years Southgate RV Storage in Michigan has been in business, it has never seen so many break-ins.
As reported by the Southgate News Herald, between Oct. 17 and April 29, 27 police reports were filed about break-ins or attempted break-ins at the lot, where more than 200 recreational vehicles are stored.
In most of the reports, a side door was pried open and damaged and the recreational vehicle was ransacked. Most items that were stolen included TVs, bedding and pillows. A number of customers noted that nothing appeared to be missing, but cited damage and the mess.
“I’ve probably had more problems last year and this spring than we’ve had the whole time we were in business,” said owner Jim McLucas. “I think a lot of it is economics and bad attitudes with people.”
While it is hard to pinpoint when many of the break-ins occurred — some RVs hadn’t been checked in months or years — most of them were during the fall and winter when the lot is full and people generally don’t use their vehicles.
Police Det. Gerald Doede said he has no leads or suspects in the case, and that this has been happening for a long time. “This has been an ongoing problem for probably the last 15 to 20 years,” he said.
McLucas said the company is strengthening security measures. The entire fence around the lot is being reinforced, with only a fraction of it left to be fixed.
Police and McLucas said the thief or thieves have been cutting the fence to enter the lot. Once the fence is finished, security cameras will be installed in strategic locations, McLucas said. So far, more than $15,000 has been spent to fix the fence.
“We’ll see what’s going to happen now, and we’ll take other steps if we have to, but I don’t know what (else) we’re going to do,” McLucas said.