Woman questions how burglar who stole heirlooms from storage unit obtained code to enter facility

Rosie Nguyen Image
Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Great-grandmother's ring among heirlooms gone from a storage unit
A woman told her story only to ABC13 after her storage unit and several others were burglarized. She's questioning how the suspect could have gotten the keycode to enter the gated business.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A southwest Houston woman is trying to figure out how to recover her precious family heirlooms after they were stolen from her storage unit over the weekend. She said the facility is gated and requires an individually unique code to enter, so she wants to know how the burglar was able to get in.

Maryam Nabhani told ABC13 she received a call Sunday morning from Public Storage, informing her that she was one of several customers who had their storage unit broken into. She said when she arrived, her unit was trashed, and everything valuable was stolen.

The thieves allegedly took some of her electronics. But what meant the most to her was the gold jewelry that had been passed down for generations, worth thousands of dollars. She claimed that she opted for insurance with the facility, but it doesn't cover the heirlooms.

She shared that her family had been victims of a burglary before. That's why she decided to put her valuable belongings in a storage unit, believing it might provide more protection than her apartment.

"That's what I'm most upset about. They've taken something that I will definitely never be able to replace. One of the rings is from my great-grandmother, who gave it to my grandmother, who gave it to my mom, who then gave it to me. It's not even really about the money that they can give me back," Nabhani said.

Nabhani filed a report with the Houston Police Department, which said its Property and Financial Crimes Division is still waiting for surveillance video from Public Storage.

However, if she's unable to recoup her belongings, what other options does she have?

According to attorney Saahir Ramji, it boils down to what exactly is stated in her rental agreement.

"A lot of times, the rental agreement will state what the renter's responsibilities are and what the facility's responsibilities are," Ramji said. "We have to look at if there's any negligence on their behalf. Sometimes, they'll write in their contract or lease agreement that they're gonna provide an operating gate, a code that every renter gets to punch in, and cameras. But let's say that the cameras were out or a light was out. Then you could prove that the facility was negligent in providing at least general upkeep."

Ramji continued, "If there's a code that every renter gets to punch it in, and let's just say that cameras are out, or light was out, that could then prove that maybe the facility was negligent in providing at least general upkeep."

Ramji also provided the following tips for those renting from a storage unit facility:

  • Always be aware of your surroundings and watch to see if anyone is following you
  • Always read the fine print in your agreement to see what is included and covered for your unit
  • Wait for all gates and locked doors to close before you leave the facility
  • If the facility has Wi-Fi, install a security camera outside of your unit

Public Storage did not return requests for comment.

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