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They Drilled Out the Lock on my Storage Unit, and Claim it was an "Accident"

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by B. Friendly, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    Okay so a drama-filled weekend and I'm looking for a technical option at the end of this thread.

    The young twat at the storage place (who replaced the mature woman we've been dealing with for 3 years) has a history. Doesn't answer the phone, doesn't return phone calls, then charges late fees because the payment was late (why we were calling in the 1st place). I've grown to hate this twat. Young, attractive, and you can tell she's been getting by her whole life on her looks. I think the Area Manager is banging her. He's a douche. I have a 6th sense about these things. These are "not much" people anyways, I mean how much effort is it to run a storage locker place anyways? A very low minimal level of performance and I think that's the problem. That hot snatch was hired because performance standards were low, and the douche of an Area Manager was dipping his wick in it, because the cow he is married to is,... well, she's a cow. Who else would marry a douche?

    So there's my bias, right off the bat. I've hated this twat for months now. Every time we get dinged for a $15.00 late fee, the imagined hypothetical situation in my mind to explain this twat's role in my life has become increasingly detailed, and I've grown to BELIEVE in these details. The hot twat, and her boss, the douche married to a cow. That's who these people are in my mind. (Yours too, btw. Note how vivid my descriptions are.)

    So I show up last week to check on some things. It's been more than 2 months since I've been there. I drive by it almost every day and wonder what's going on, etc... We pay $200 a month to store thousands & thousands of dollars worth of antique furniture, family heirlooms, etc... all manner of valuable things. The container is large, 10 x 15, and it's full from floor to ceiling.

    Walk up to the door & key doesn't work. Check, yes it's the right number. Key still won't work. "Key... won't <jiggle> work. Key <dammit> won't <jiggle> damn <stupid> jiggle <key> won't <goddam it> key won't WHAT the FUCK is wrong with this key?"

    Look down. Metal shavings on the ground. Inspect. Looks like someone has drilled-out the lock. Huh.

    Have we been robbed?

    Check shavings. Not bright; they are oxidized. And I can tell by their pattern that they've been rained on (it rained last week). The shavings have been carried by the rain into an outline surrounding a small pile of dirt. (Yes, I'm an advanced level Ranger with +18 Perception and a + 5 bonus for tracking.)

    Conclusion: They drilled the lock before the rain last week. And didn't call. No letter, no nothing.

    The obvious answer is that they broke in, stole stuff, changed the lock and then didn't tell us hoping uh, I dunno. Maybe that it would be a year before we came around to find out the lock had been drilled out, and changed?

    Anyways, I confronted the twat, she enunciated some words that I completely ignored (she'd lied to me before and I have a tendency to not listen to liars), I said some angry words and then set about trying to get both her and the douche fired.

    The Regional Manager says the Area Manager saw the videotape and they drilled that lock out 20 minutes before I showed up on accident (they have a story). They are overnighting the video DVD to him. It should be there tomorrow (Monday) morning.

    What's Going to Happen:

    The Regional Manager is going to tell me that he also viewed the video tape and that they in fact DID only drill that lock out 20 minutes before I showed up (astronomically strange coincidence), and that this whole thing is just "one of those things" that sometimes happens, and I have nothing to worry about.

    Here's his definition of "nothing to worry about":

    1) 3 days to do a full inventory of everything that is in that container. Drag it all out, open all the boxes, etc...
    2) Since we are doing that, we may as well move to another container as we really don't need the 10 x 15 anymore. Another 3 days.
    3) For the rest of our life, anytime we can't find something or wonder where "that thing" went, we'll always wonder if it was stolen from the storage container. There are a LOT of antiques, etc... you don't pay $200 a month to store CRAP. Which is one reason why I suspect the employees were overwhelmed with curiosity about what was in there and drilled-out the locks.

    So then MY RESPONSE will be, "Sure, just overnight me a copy of the DVD also, so I can see the employees drilling out my lock 20 minutes before I show up for the 1st time in over 2 months."

    WHAT IF:

    1) The Regional Manager refuses to send a copy of the video to me?

    2) The Regional Manager sends me a copy of the video?

    I want to focus on the 2nd option. I want to know how possible it is for someone to doctor time/date stamped video, and if it's possible for someone else to tell if it's been altered. Is it like photoshop? Harder? Easier?

    If I get this videotape and it appears legit, that it was a very short time between the time the lock was drilled-out and I showed up (20 minutes, or whatever), is there someone here that can tell if it's legit, or forged?
     
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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  2. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    I'd personally be asking my solicitor - not a IM forum.
     
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  3. partymarty4870

    partymarty4870 Elite Member

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    I come from a land downunder
    But if you want my opinion, grab 3 BIG guys and a baseball bat and pay them a visit.
     
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  4. ShadeDream

    ShadeDream Elite Member

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    Solicitor comes first. If that doesn't solve anything, then do the above. :)

    In my opinion you should gather all of this evidence and get the Police involved. I hope you've taken photos of the bits from the drilling and taken the bits with you too.

    Whatever you do, consider the legal implications first. Good Luck.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  5. pixelgrinder

    pixelgrinder Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    1. Get pics of the girl, its relevant.
    2. Grill the shit out of the manager and ask why you werent contacted
    3. Do some investigative work if they send the tape - what time did you check your storage? Compare lighting to the footage to see if the tape checks out (shadows etc).
     
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  6. NISEO

    NISEO Registered Member

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    Sorry, I have nothing to 'add'. I just couldn't only give you a 'Thanks' for such an excellently funny, entertaining, well written story.

    So 'proper thanks'. :lock1:

    Loved the story (not the fact that you have possibly lost out even more than your time).
     
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  7. Amsterdammer

    Amsterdammer Power Member

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    I don't know about the laws in the USA but if you do that here I will call the cops. You rented that space and so it is yours. There is no reason at all why they should even TRY to get in. Have a laugh, call the cops. :D
     
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  8. OldSalt

    OldSalt Moderator Staff Member Moderator Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Have a video camera that includes a date/time stamp running when you open up the storage unit with the new key and document everything if there is any sign of things being different inside than when you last left them.
     
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  9. seany

    seany Regular Member

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    Yes its very possible that they can forge the tape however as you have so well described these people don't seem to smart and to be perfectly honest it really would be more hassle than its worth to forge the tape why? well firstly there is no proof there was anything stolen until you do your inventory check (and most likely there really is nothing stolen why? because they knew you would eventually find out they drilled the lock...so im sure they are not THAT stupid), second even if they did do this 1 week ago or more and didn't send you a letter or phone call to notify you, its very bad policy and customer service however its not against any laws that I'm aware of, so in reality they probably wont get fired.

    either way its all a very big breach of your trust and without doubt you should be looking to transfer your goods to another company.

    Sean
     
  10. Amsterdammer

    Amsterdammer Power Member

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    Seany, actually the system is to open it up at night (or when a shadow covers the whole scene) filmed with a cam that has no date or an altered date. Settings and newbie mistake springs to mind here. After that you leave the cam running while you change the lock and close the door. Cam turns off: Done in step one.
    Next you leave the front and take from the back. Not nickle and times work if you think antiques. The cam is your disclaimer nothing bad happened.

    There is NO reason to enter, to change the lock or do whatever. It is burglary, plain and simple. No matter how they try and smooth talk it.

    Just an opinion of course, must have been dealing with the wrong people in an ancient past. :p
    Feel free to ignore. :)

    Edit: You can even twist this a bit and have the storage show up empty when changing the lock...
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  11. seany

    seany Regular Member

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    yes they have no reason to break the lock and enter someone else's storage unit without permission, but its actually its breaking and entering+ Trespassing, not burglary (unless something is actually stolen...)
     
  12. 2011nfl

    2011nfl Supreme Member

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    When my lawyer contacted them, I would say I accidentally sued them :D
     
  13. Fwiffo

    Fwiffo Power Member

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    - is it being overnighted from a central location or their location? if the first, fairly difficult to tamper with it.
    - look to make sure the shadows from the sun are coming from the right direction for that time of day. That's almost impossible to doctor
    - look for edited or ghosty images in the corners where a timestamp might have been edited out or covered over
    - compare fonts on video tape with footage from similar equipment. Also compare the screen resolution with simililar footage. Would theoretically be pretty easy to crop off the bottom of the video and dump a timestamp overlay on it, however wouldn't be as easy (or people wouldn't think) to put it back up to the original resolution, or find the exact same font (ie would be software font). Go up to the storage container at a set time, then ask for a copy of video from that specific time. Should be decent enough to compare resolution and timestamp font / size....
    - document all conversations and facts in case you need to go the court route... communicate in writing if possible so people can't change their story later on....
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  14. MiLiTARYiV

    MiLiTARYiV Senior Member

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    I doubt they would drill your l;ock unless you were not paying which Im sure was the case.

    You already mentiod you had to pay severallate fees so that shows you were not paying on time.

    You probably was late by a few months and want to blame them for you being late and its not they fault, just because they dont answer their phones dont mean you have a excuse not to pay. Mail the payment, Stop by (you already
    mentioned you drive by the place daily).

    You have no basis to sue, as they were only doing their job

    cliffnotes

    :You dint pay your rent
    : They drilled the lock off precaution
    :U got mad at them because they actually took action
    : U come and post on BHW looking for sympathy because you got owned
     
  15. B. Friendly

    B. Friendly BANNED BANNED

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    I've sent you a PM in response to this. EDIT*** Also just noticed you've acquired 50 Rep since January of 2008, which explains a lot.

    To everyone else, thanks. If the Regional Manager sends me the video, I'm posting it here for discussion. I'm consulting with an attorney tomorrow. We're also wondering why the Area Manager didn't immediately invite us over to look at the video, and why it has to be sent to the Regional Manager. And we are wondering if we called the Police (been suggested several times) to file a report for future use, couldn't he view the video (if they refuse to let us see it). Which they might, IDK.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2012
  16. Uppa839

    Uppa839 Junior Member

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    I have done law before but I am Australian not US so the jurisdiction are obviously different. Look at the stores policies for immediate solutions but if you don't like those then take them to court. Store policies don't amount to anything in the court of law (unless three is already a law but most store policies only cover the day to day operations and many will often get away with saying it is our store policy), my favourite case to date Judge: "so why wont you refund him the money?" Defendant: " it's our store policy not to" Judge: ".....refund the man his money, Verdict for the plantiff in the amount of $430"

    I would be filing a complaint with the police anyway and then if your worse fears come true then file for charges but only do so with your attorney. Speaking form experience do not tap on annoying shit like emotional damage unless you can prove it ie doctors/specialist note. Also I will say this because it simply doesn't get through to some people THE LAW IS TO MAKE YOU WHOLE, NOT BETTER OFF OR WORSE OFF THAN YOU WERE BEFORE! so if going to court have the worth of the items that were stolen down to the closest dollar possible. You can do a bit of manipulating by only taking high listed prices but that can often fall flat if the defendants come up with a group of lower prices.

    But this is getting ahead of ourselves. Strongly advise doing an inventory count to the point of unpacking all boxes and count all of the items. I know it's a pain in the ass but it is the best way to make sure.
     
  17. Amsterdammer

    Amsterdammer Power Member

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    Updates?:attention
     
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  18. Dagreyon

    Dagreyon Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Could not have said it better myself. Very entertaining and made me laugh out loud several times, OP. Good read and sorry I can't be of assistance to your issue, just had to comment on this.
     
  19. bigeazy

    bigeazy Regular Member

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    #1 to #9 on your fav SE
    What an interesting thread... would love an update.