ST. TAMMANY PARISH- The mini storage units at an Abita Springs facility were locked up tight Friday, but earlier this week, almost 40 units were broken into and burglarized, including Pam Frigola's.
'When they called me, I was stunned,'she said. 'I couldn't believe it. We've felt so safe there. We never once thought anything could happen there.'
Two months ago, the same thing happened at a mini storage facility in the Slidell area, now totaling more than 60 units hit. Detectives say property was stolen from inside and outside of the facilities.
'In addition to the typical things that are stored in typical mini storages, tools, household furnishings, belongings, additionally, two trucks were stolen from a nearby industrial park,' said St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Brian Trainor.
Authorities say the cases could be part of a bigger crime.
'It appears that the mini storage burglaries across the lake and in neighboring parishes are similar to the ones here,'said Trainor. 'Our detectives are working in concert with investigators in those jurisdictions to see if the same individuals are committing the crimes in multiple jurisdictions.'
Investigators say there are ways to avoid becoming a victim.
'Make sure you try to find units that are well lit, look to see if any of these businesses have cameras that operate to protect their mini storage units. Also look for locks that are hard to tamper with or harder to cut with bolt cutters,' said Trainor.
If you have any information about these crimes, contact Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.