The last thing Richard Leonard expected was a phone call from police saying his half-tonne safe was found smashed open on a rural road in Dairy Flat.
He thought it was safely locked away in a Storage4You unit in Wairau Rd.
"I couldn't quite believe that my massive, great, heavy safe was smashed somewhere north of Auckland," he says.
But the storage facility was burgled overnight on July 6.
Richard Leonard is a professional photographer and the safe contained cash and records of his work.
He lives in Murrays Bay with wife Taryn. "We've lost stuff that no amount of money could replace. Just because you've put something in storage doesn't mean you don't really value it," Taryn Leonard says.
The Leonards are still figuring out what is missing from their unit, but the family's Christmas tree and decorations have definitely been snatched.
"They're in our home every year and it's something we'll really miss," Taryn Leonard says.
The Leonards paid more than $100 a month for about five years to keep their belongings in a Storage4You unit.
They have since shut down their account.
"We foolishly assumed that when you've got your stuff in a secure unit that it will actually be secure," Richard Leonard says.
Storage4You co-owner Grant Brady says the staff are all upset by the burglary.
"We're very security-conscious and provide a very professional service," he says.
The Storage4You website says the perimeter fence is electrified and patrolled at night.
"Each unit is individually alarmed while a monitored CCTV security system keeps an eye out for all our clients." Brady referred all questions about how the burglary happened to police.
He says the company has since changed its security procedures.
"We've done everything that we can think of." Storage4You has 1100 customers from all over the world and "most of them know" about the burglary, he says.
Brady says affected customers have been apologised to. He won't say if they will be offered compensation.
A police spokeswoman says the burglary of 12 storage units on Wairau Rd was investigated by police in early July.
Brady says eight units were broken into.
The police spokeswoman says despite extensive inquiries including a forensic scene examination, all available lines of inquiry have been exhausted.
Call North Shore police on 477 5000 or the anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 if you have any information.
- North Shore Times
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