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Woman shocked to learn who's suspected of ransacking her storage unit

Mary Watson says Jacksonville police told her suspect is employee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – There's a neighborhood crime alert in the Wesconnett area on Jacksonville's Westside, where a woman said her possessions were stolen from a storage unit she was renting.

Mary Watson told News4Jax on Thursday that she thought her belongings were safe, locked up inside a unit at Extra Storage Space, a gated storage facility off of Timuquana Road.

But she said she learned that wasn't the case when she recently received a disturbing phone call from a friend.

"He was, like, 'I really don't know how to tell you this, but someone has broken into your storage and stole a lot of your stuff,'" Watson said.

Watson explained she recently moved to Columbus, Georgia, and so her friend who lives in Jacksonville went to the storage facility to check on her belongings. After she got the phone call, she drove back to Jacksonville. She held back tears on Thursday when she saw the inside of the storage unit she was renting for the first time.

The storage facility has security features, including a gate with a code needed for entry and security cameras. But those features did not prevent Watson's unit from being ransacked.

“My little tool bag with all my tools in it are gone. I had wine that was stacked up in a corner that is now gone. My two flat screen TVs -- they’re gone," Watson said.

She said her jewelry, a coin collection and financial information were also taken.

Mary Watson

"They stole my identity. They stole pictures of me and my daughter. They stole my daughter's information that was in here," Watson said. "They took my peace."

But Watson said she was even more shocked when Jacksonville police told her one of the suspects was a storage facility employee. 

According to Watson, police reviewed surveillance video showing a female employee of the facility and a man going into the storage unit and loading Watson’s possessions into a truck. 

"(I'm) hurt, discouraged -- knowing you worked so hard to maintain something and someone you entrusted with it allowed one of their employees to come in and take it," Watson said. "(Management) said it's an insurance matter for whatever insurance I got to cover it and that was it."

Watson said police arrested that employee.  

In the meantime, Watson said that she's filing a lawsuit against Extra Storage Space.

"They had the key. Their employee used the key. They're responsible," she said.

When asked Thursday whether the suspect was still employed, a manager said "no comment."

News4Jax put in a request to obtain the mugshot and name of the suspect to find out the specific charges she was arrested on. News4Jax is also working to learn whether her alleged accomplice was also arrested.


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