Burglars wanted after ransacking 100+ units at Extra Space storage facility in North Bergen

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, July 18, 2023
Burglars wanted in organized heist of NJ storage facility
Two men broke into an Extra Space storage facility in North Bergen on Thursday night, and ransacked more than 100 units. Lucy Yang has more on the story.

NORTH BERGEN, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police are searching for the burglars who robbed more than a hundred units during an organized heist at a storage facility in New Jersey.

Matthew LaFountaint has been making multiple trips to his rented storage bin after Extra Space on Tonnelle Avenue in North Bergen was burglarized.

"It's very upsetting. I'm emptying out my items as we speak," LaFountaint said.

He said he lost a lot of musical equipment, which he estimates to be worth about $10,000 to $12,000.

"My girlfriend and I are both musicians, so it's definitely our livelihood," he said.

It was an ambitious and organized heist. According to North Bergen Police, two men broke into the New Jersey storage facility late Thursday night, and for the next three and a half hours, they ransacked more than 100 units.

"They came in with head covering, they had goggles, masks and green reflective vests," North Bergen Police Department Capt. Jorge Raposo said. "They put black masking tape over the cameras."

Apparently, they knew exactly where the cameras were and how best to break into each unit.

Eyewitness News reporter Lucy Yang was told the burglars also came prepared in a large U-Haul truck to cart away not only LaFountaint's equipment, but also a couch and an ATV.

"That storage unit in particular has had a history of burglaries and thefts," Raposo said. "We've had numerous problems there."

Records show 10 burglaries in the last five years and multiple changes in ownership, but apparently there was no alarm system. Which means the thieves had time on their side to pick only high value items.

For victims, some of the losses cannot be replaced.

"A lot of them are emotional items," LaFountaint said. "My girlfriend's mom passed more than decade ago. The first guitar she ever gave her is in there."

In response, the storage facility told Eyewitness News, "Security is a top priority for Extra Space, we are constantly evaluating and reevaluating our security systems."

There was a security guard sitting there on Monday night.

He told Lucy Yang that he was hired after the break in, and the main gate still broken.


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