Landscapers upset with repeated thefts at Dacula self-storage center

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Four local landscaping companies have come forward expressing frustration about repeated thefts at Extra Space Storage in Auburn Road in Dacula. 

The business owners claim someone stole thousands of dollars worth of commercial lawn equipment overnight Tuesday, crippling their business. What's more, this is not the first time the thefts have happened, they say. 

"I'm at the point I am trying to decide if I even keep this business open, I can't just keep replacing equipment," says Paul Grupp, a victim in the latest case. Grupp claims that the facility does not have adequate cameras and that large areas of the lot are not secured by video. 

"They have two cameras, that is all they have, one as you pull in the parking lot and one as you leave the gate, nothing on all of those expensive 300, 400- thousand dollar RV's people have over there.  Boats, there are no cameras on anything over there" Grupp adds. 

Extra Space Storage, based in Utah, denies those claims in a written statement to FOX 5 News:

"In regards to the video cameras, that is incorrect.  We have 2 functioning cameras at the gate, as well as one that covers the main drive aisle, and multiple that cover our office as well as in the climate controlled building. The theft referenced last June was a landscaper who had his trailer stolen by one of his own employees, who had recently been terminated by the landscaper.  No other tenants were impacted in this incident."

The June incident, referenced by Extra Space, was another round of reported thefts that impacted at least two businesses. We're told Gwinnett Police later recovered a truck stolen in the theft, but much of the equipment is still missing.

With four businesses coming forward, it is unclear to pinpoint which business Extra Storage is addressing. However, we did notify the company that this latest theft happened within the past 24 hours. 

So why do the lawn care businesses stay when thefts continue to reportedly happen? Necessity, they claim.

"The subdivisions now you can't park your equipment, so we don't have any place to park them, so, unfortunately, that's all that is left is to park them at these storage facilities, you can't find any vacant warehouses to put them in, so we don't have a choice" says Grupp. 

Gwinnett County Police say the incident is under investigation. A police report was filed.