SAN ANTONIO – Saturday was supposed to be a good day for Cody Paulin and his girlfriend as they finally moved into their new home.
But when they arrived with friends at Life Storage by Potranco Road and Talley Road, where they had been renting a unit since March, something was off.
“I noticed a drawer was gone, and I wasn’t kind of seeing some things that I would have expected to,” Paulin said.
The storage unit and lock appeared undamaged, he said, but when they got to their new home, they realized things were worse than they had realized.
Paulin and his girlfriend are still tallying up everything that’s missing, but they already know that home decorations and all of Paulin’s sports memorabilia, including a Michael Jordan rookie card, are gone.
But it’s the items that may be worth the least, which hold the most value for Paulin – mementos of his active duty career, which included three tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.
Now a reservist, Paulin had been a helicopter avionics mechanic with the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment during his active duty career with the U.S. Army. Among the stolen items were plaques, challenge coins, gear, and other mementos of his service.
“Those memories are kind of gone with it. You know, I have very limited pictures of my time. And, you know, some of that stuff is just like a hole in my heart that’s missing, kind of,” he said.
Other stolen items included family heirlooms, including pistols and a cigar box guitar his grandfather made.
“The home decor stuff. It’s whatever, you know, you can come back from that, but there’s nothing that replaces some of the stuff that they took from it,” Paulin said.
Oddly enough, they found someone else’s boxes among their own. Paulin suspects the thief put the clothing-filled boxes into the unit to help fill some of the gaps created by the stolen items, which included “giant Pelican cases” filled with military gear.
Paulin and his girlfriend reported the theft to the Bexar County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday.
Though the couple don’t know for sure who stole their stuff, Paulin says staff had told them “that they kind of suspected one of the customers up on that third floor was stealing stuff.”
When they first got their storage unit, the couple found two keys and a lock inside of it, according to the BCSO incident report. However, the storage company later told them the unit came with three keys.
A manager at the Life Storage location told KSAT they were not permitted to speak with media. KSAT left a phone message with the company’s home office Tuesday afternoon, but did not hear back before airtime.