AIEA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - An Oahu man wants to warn others about a holiday heist after his family's storage unit was broken into and their valuables were stolen on Christmas.
The victim believes he may have interrupted the thieves, preventing them from stealing more stuff. But the Navy man did lose some items and wants others to be aware of the Christmas crime.
Jaye Bell has to add a little muscle to open and close his locker door at the Public Storage facility in Aiea. That's because he said he discovered his unit had been broken into on Christmas Day.
"When I came around the corner last night to drop off my stuff, I noticed my storage unit was open already. So looking in, I saw that my lock was gone. They hadn't cut my lock, they actually cut the mechanism that holds the lock," Bell said.
Bell said he had one of those heavy-duty uncuttable locks. But that didn't stop the thieves because they just cut around it.
"And they lifted it up and I guess they grabbed the first thing they could get which was some of my naval memorabilia," said Bell.
Bell has been serving in the United States Navy for 21 years. He said among the items missing is a Chiefs Cutlass Sword, which was in the box closest to the entrance.
"I believe they probably were getting ready to come back and do what they had to do because they didn't even shut my unit all the way. And I'm not sure if they were in progress and saw us and left, but they grabbed the first thing could and got out of here," he said.
Bell said some of his other boxes were torn open and he did notice the lock on the unit right next to his was cut. He called police right away to file a report and wants to spread the word to the public
"They have gates that need access codes, but somehow they had the back gate here propped open so they could get in and get out without having to put in a code…the best thing to do is have vigilance. They have cameras here, but you probably want to check on your stuff more often than you normally would."
The Bells are moving their belongings to another location.
Hawaii News Now reached out to Public Storage on Saturday and is still waiting for a response.
If you have any information that could help police call CrimeStoppers at 955-8300.