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CHANDLER, AZ (CBS5) -
You put your stuff in storage, lock it up and think it's safe and sound, but several units have been busted into at a Chandler facility, according to police.
Tim Nelton said his unit was one of the five broken into and things like his Hot Wheels, action figures and comic books that he has been collecting since 1993 were taken.
"I sold this car for $2,000," he said while showing us some of his Hot Wheels collection.
He has so many of them that he installed shelving in his garage especially for them all. When you walk in, you can see rows and rows of boxes perfectly organized and labeled with the different collectibles inside.
Nelton has also been storing a big part of his collection inside a 10-by-15 unit at the U-Haul Climate Controlled Self-Storage Facility and Moving Supplies in Chandler near Chandler Boulevard and Kyrene Road for approximately two years.
Until now, he never had any problems. But the day after Christmas he got a holiday surprise he was not expecting. He said the unit had been ransacked.
"What I paid for was probably well over $30,000," said Nelton.
He's not only missing thousands of dollars worth of autographed collectibles, but he is missing the pieces that represent many father and son memories.
For example, one comic book he got while he and his son met a prominent comic icon.
"That comic is really important to me for that reason," he said. "It was the first time we got to meet Stan Lee, which is one of the co-creators of Spiderman."
Chandler police said Friday that there were four other similar burglaries reported in December at the same storage facility. Investigators said the units may have been broken into anywhere from the beginning of October to the middle of December.
Nelton said he believes someone busted the lock on his unit door to get inside and Chandler police said there is a crawl space overhead that could also be an access point for crooks to get to more than one unit once inside the indoor facility.
When CBS 5 News went to the U-Haul store Friday, the management on scene would not comment.
"It's still under investigation, so we can't say anything about anything," said the on-site assistant manager.
Nelton had some advice to share to other storage unit renters.
"Check on your unit and do it more than once a month," he said.
Police are searching for who is responsible.
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