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Hit and run causes damage at self storage

Union Leader Correspondent

August 19. 2011 9:40PM

DERRY - When a man drove into the parking lot of Derry Self Storage on Windham Road on Monday evening after hours and inquired about renting a unit, store manager Barbara Currier thought nothing of it and went back to watching Wheel of Fortune with her husband as the man left.

The next morning, however, Currier noticed that things weren't quite right with the business - a power surge had shut down some of the computer systems in the office, and when she went outside, the electronic touch pad security system that lets customers in and out of their units after closing time was in rough shape.

'I saw the damage at the gate and ran back and played the security tape,' Currier said.

Sure enough, the approximately 60-year-old man driving a newer model black SUV who had inquired about renting a unit the night before had made an unsuccessful three-point turn, backing into the unit housing thousands of dollars of sensitive electronic equipment, and sped away without telling anyone about the accident.

Currier filed a report with the police and held out hope that the man might return to the business to own up to the accident, but by Friday morning, she was still waiting.

Police officers studied the surveillance tape, hoping in part that someone might recognize the man, but no one did. Currier said the man looked vaguely familiar, but she couldn't put a name to the face.

She said she had a conversation of a minute or two with the man from her kitchen window above the business office.

'He said he wanted a unit and asked for the price,' she said. 'After I told him, he said he would come back later.'

Currier said she also noticed a woman in the car.

The exact dollar figure of the damage was still to be determined as Currier had repair personnel looking at the equipment on Friday morning. She said the electronic keypad itself within the unit costs almost $1,000.

In addition, the accident damaged an electronic signal wired to the fire department, and caused an electric surge that knocked out use of some of the equipment in the office.

Even though Currier was upset about the damage to her business' property, she said she was also concerned about the type of havoc the potential customer could wreak on the roadways.

'What if he had hit a person and driven away?' Currier asked.

Unfortunately, Currier said, this is not the first time, the self-storage business has been a victim of a hit and run.

'This is about the third time this has happened,' she said.

Currier and the police were unable to get a clear read on the license plate vehicle in the surveillance video, but Currier said she is thinking of investing in a new camera that can get a clearer shot of license plates.

Anyone who recognizes the man in the video can contact Currier at Derry Self Storage at 434-4500.

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