Hermiston Police Department overflowing with items recovered from storage unit burglaries
HERMISTON, Ore. — Police are beginning the daunting task of documenting a mountain-sized heap of stolen property recovered from a string of storage unit burglaries this week.
It was enough to fill a box-truck borrowed from a local farm.
They want to get it all to go back to the rightful owners.
Chief Jason Edmiston said it could take his team an entire week to document all the keepsakes and family treasures stolen from several storage units in Umatilla and Morrow Counties.
Edmiston said he has no idea how much it's all worth.
But it's a lot.
"We're bulging at the seams," he said. "What's one persons junk is another person's treasure so its difficult to put an exact [price] on it."
The chief said the whole thing is extremely frustrating.
"We're a small agency," he sighed. "Our crime numbers have been at record lows the last couple years."
He said a burglary of this magnitude will spike their reported crime numbers, but he has some helpful advice so the same mess doesn't happen to you.
"We know that crime has three components to it," he explained. "A victim, an offender, and a location. If we're able to impact one of the three legs of that triangle, crime would be non-existent."
Chief Edmiston said people need to take measures to not become victims.
Easier said than done now that burglars are cutting locks and replacing them after cleaning stuff out.
The decoy can mean site managers won't notice until renters discover the heist.
"If it were me personally, I'd want to rent from a place that has security cameras, maybe even an on-site person living on the property," he said.
His team is reaching out to victims they can verify first.
That's why they're getting the word out.
"Making sure we're reaching out to the public as much as possible, asking people to go through their storage units and make sure they're not missing something," he said.
If you think you've been robbed you need to file a police report with your local law enforcement agency.
Edmiston said the police report will be compared to the inventory and they'll get back to you.
"You name it, we've got it. I'm looking forward to us returning as much property as possible.
The last thing we want to do is have a giant yard sale of property that we know belongs to people."
Hermiston Police told Action News they're working with law enforcement agencies all over the area and there still might be more victims out there.
Area law enforcement contact information:
- Benton County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 628-0333
- Franklin County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 545-3510
- Grant County non-emergency dispatch: (509)762-1160 or (888)431-9911
- Umatilla County non-emergency dispatch: (541) 966-3650, option 1
- Walla Walla County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 527-3265
- Yakima County non-emergency dispatch: (509) 575-6200