Homeless veteran questions security after storage unit ransacked

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A homeless veteran contacted CBS4 Problem Solvers after someone broke into his storage unit earlier this year.

For the past few months, Darryl Dixon has been accumulating paperwork at a time when he says his life was already difficult enough.

"I’m already homeless and I don’t want to lose the place that my stuff’s at," Dixon said.

Dixon has been keeping his belongings at a Public Storage on Elmwood Avenue near Beech Grove. The veteran said he fell on hard times and needed a place to store everything.

His situation was made that much worse when Dixon opened one of his two units in March and found it ransacked. He said multiple items had been stolen, including a gun, television, computer and family heirlooms.

"I had to struggle to get the door up and I thought, 'What the heck?' and the minute I got it up, I saw the mess, and yeah it was heartbreaking," Dixon said.

Dixon said the unit had two doors: one with his lock on it, and a secondary door with a Public Storage owned lock on it. In a Beech Grove police report, the on-site manager told an officer "she thinks an ex-employee may have stolen the master key for that specific lock."

The officer also reported that the manager told him "there are no cameras on the property."

That, combined with the fact that Dixon was paying for insurance, but said he's only been offered $800 for his loss, caused him to start asking questions.

"I did not really realize that there are no cameras or nothing, because I’ve (driven) by many (Public Storage locations) and there’s a storage facility right (near) here that has cameras," Dixon said.

Dixon said he has not been able to get answers to any of his questions about security at the facility.

CBS4 Problem Solvers tried to get some answers, too. The on-site manager referred us to a contact at Public Storage's corporate headquarters, but despite leaving multiple messages with a secretary and sending more than one email, we never heard back from the company.

Dixon is fighting the third-party insurance company as well. He reported his case to the Indiana Department of Insurance, which initially sided with the insurance company. Dixon is appealing.

He told CBS4 that in the meantime, he does not have the means necessary to move his items to another location.

"Everything I have in my life is in there," Dixon said.

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