CRYSTAL LAKE – More than 30 storage units were broken into at a Crystal Lake storage facility last week, leaving at least one unit vandalized and another burglarized.
In the early morning hours of Nov. 20, 34 units were broken into at Space Management, at 6905 Cog Circle in Crystal Lake. A vehicle was vandalized in one storage unit and jewelry was stolen from another, according to McHenry County Sheriff’s Lt. James Popovits.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” he said. “At this point we don’t know who is involved. We are sharing information with another agency to see if we can develop a concrete suspect.”
Popovits said another storage facility was similarly broken into in the northwest suburbs but outside of McHenry County. He declined to identify the facility.
Pat Dunn, owner of Space Management, said the burglars broke in by cutting through barbed wire and a chain-linked fence in the back of the facility and entered the units by destroying the mechanism the locks were attached to.
“This has never happened to us in 26 years of business,” Dunn said. “We are very, very, very upset.”
Dunn also said the individuals aimed the security camera up after entering the facility. When asked if the cameras were functioning at the time of the break-in, Dunn declined comment.
While the sheriff’s office is continuing to investigate, it is only aware of one unit that had items stolen, a fact that Dunn said makes the situation all the stranger.
“Nothing was stolen from any unit except one,” Dunn said. “The whole thing is odd.”
The vehicle that was vandalized, a BMW show car, belonged to Crystal Lake resident Philip Shackle. The car, which he valued at $30,000, was heavily keyed, likely decreasing its value in half, he said.
“I opened up my storage unit and it had been rifled through,” Shackle said. “There were deep key marks on the car … my show car is basically destroyed.”
Shackle said he was given a new storage unit with a new lock but said he will probably use a different facility in the future.
Dunn said Space Management has repaired the broken fence and replaced the barbed wire. She said the facility’s front gate is “very secure” and the company is looking into a different kind of camera system.
The McHenry County Sheriff’s Office also has been doing late-night patrols of the facility since the break-in, Dunn said.
“We replaced all the units,” Dunn said. “We’ve given everyone new locks. We’ve given them new latches … everybody is locked and secure.”
“We are victims in this,” she added. “I am very, very sorry for each person who has gone through this. But this is vandalism of our property.”