Numerous break-ins at Harrison, Ark., storage facility leads to sheriff surveillance

Published: Dec. 7, 2022 at 3:39 PM CST|Updated: Dec. 7, 2022 at 4:16 PM CST
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - The Boone County Sheriff’s Office says it has investigator-monitored surveillance at a Harrison storage unit facility following numerous break-ins.

Investigators say that despite repeated incidents at Myers Rentals Mini Storage on U.S. 65 and advisement from deputies, the storage facility owners had not installed security cameras until recently.

“There have been several break-ins at Myers Storage Rentals,” said Sheriff-elected Roy Martin. “But that’s not unusual. We have break-ins at other storage units inside the county. ”

The latest victim of a theft, Ashley Watkins, says she was notified about her unit being broken into last Friday.

“(The Owner) said she noticed Tuesday or Wednesday that the lock had been broken off and replaced it then,” said Watkins. “So there is no telling how long it had been. I hadn’t been to the storage unit for about three weeks before that.”

Watkins says she had been renting a unit for four months during the process of moving. She used the unit to store clothes, keepsakes, and her children’s Christmas gifts.

“I don’t feel like people are protected. This is a wide open space. It has over 300 units. You don’t get any visibility from the road,” said Watkins. “I wouldn’t even come out here at night by myself because I didn’t feel safe by myself out here.”

Watkins was surprised to learn of the other burglaries that had occurred and that security cameras were not in place.

“I was not aware that there weren’t cameras because if you look at the light poles, there is a bunch of solar panels,” she said. “So I assumed both lights and cameras would be there.”

KY3 reached out to the offices of Myers Rentals Wednesday for comment, but the business never responded.

In a separate case, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office says it was first alerted to a possible theft through coordination with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

“One of their investigators was interested in speaking with an inmate in our jail about separate burglaries,” said Martin. “From that interview, we determined there may be a connection, got a search warrant at a residence, and recovered quite a bit of stolen properties that had come out of Myers Rentals.”

A portion of those items included most of the contents in Watkins’ unit.

“I definitely don’t want somebody to end up in this situation,” said Watkins. “I had no idea. I just thought it was an inexpensive storage room. I was blessed by God that I was able to have things returned, but I do not want this to happen to anybody else. We still don’t have Christmas as we did, and a lot of those things can’t ever be replaced.”

Since this most recent incident, the Boone County Sheriff’s Office says owners with Myers Rental have cooperated to install security cameras under surveillance by investigators.

“They agreed to put some cameras at their location, and one of our investigators has access to that 24/7,” said Martin. “If anything is to happen there from now on, it will go straight to that investigator’s phone.”

The sheriff-elect says the investigation is ongoing. As of Wednesday, no arrests have been made regarding Watkins’ rental unit theft.

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