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'It hurts' | Relatives' ashes spilled, military medals damaged in storage facility burglary, victims say

San Antonio Police say two men were arrested at the scene after a reported burglary at the Otter Self Storage off of Loop 410 near Marbach Road.

SAN ANTONIO — Four men are in custody after a burglary at a west-side storage facility where police say at least 15 units were broken into Saturday morning. 

SAPD officials say they were dispatched to Otter Self Storage, along the 2400 block of SW Loop 410, at around 7:20 a.m., where the suspects were detained "after a brief foot chase." While the quartet has been charged with burglary, it's unclear if they're the ones who broke into the storage units, nor have police said how they may have done so as their investigation continues. 

Regardless, the appearance of security at the complex, including security cameras and a gate, doesn’t match the intangible reality for Robert Rodriguez. The burglary is causing anguish for someone who already has wounds.

“It does hurt. It hurts more than me getting this thing,” Rodriguez said as he pointed to the Purple Heart license plate on the back of his car.

“It hurts more than that. Because I can take the physical pain, but the emotional pain is tough,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez says his belongings were kept here for a short time after a 20-year career in the military.

RELATED: Storage unit on west side burglarized

“I had a lot of artifacts, presidential citation for retiring from the Marines. Command medals, ribbons. Everything was thrown to the ground, scratched up, and broken, and uh, you know, what can I do man, it was memories,” Rodriguez said.

Many other items were missing or damaged when people renting units heard about what happened.

Lisa Wright says she was at the facility but couldn’t access her belongings which included family keepsakes.

While SAPD said at least 15 units were broken into, Wright said the number is higher—closer to 30. 

“I was crying. Not because of my belongings, but to see a lady on the ground picking up her parent’s ashes from her urns being smashed,” Wright said. “It’s all gone because some individuals are just hard on their times I guess."

On Sunday afternoon the gates were locked, and people were unable to retrieve their belongings. A sign posted on a keypad said renters must contact the office and set an appointment to get their belongings.

“All I can tell people who lost some important things…Don’t look at it as a downer, look at it as something you can get through and it’s only going to make you stronger,” Rodriguez said.

KENS 5 attempted to reach the property management for comment but we did not get a response. 

The arrested suspects were later identified as 40-year-old Adam Ruiz, 43-year-old Keith McNeil, 51-year-old Ronald Steemer and 34-year-old Derly Perez. 

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