Seeking legal advice

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:51 am    Post subject: Seeking legal advice

kinda random but who knows maybe one of you fellow LG brothas is a lawyer

It's a bit of a long story here it goes

Last year after superbowl weekend I came back to my business which is a martial arts school to see it was burglarized. They took probably about $3,500 worth of electronics and equiptment. I filed a police report and notified our landlord to which she did not even reply. This is a trend with her, when I reach out to her she NEVER replies yet I am 1 day late rent you can bet an email from her immediately.

Fast forward to this years superbowl I actually get a call from the police on Saturday the day before the superbowl that someone broke in and they were actually able to catch the suspect. Before he was caught though he cleaned out the place, what he did was he took everything to a storage multiple trips and on his last trip out he got pulled over for not having head lights on and when the police saw his car was full of computer and martial arts stuff it seemed a little sketch. I'm like how ironic is this, I get hit on superbowl weekend again. I told the police I am pretty damn sure it is the same guy but I had no proof. Seriously felt like crying after it happened to me again within a year as I am a fairly new business owner and not making too much money.

By the way there was no signs of breaking and entering, when it happened last year my co-worker actually felt guilty thinking he didn't lock the backdoor properly. This time again no sign of breaking and entering but I got new locks and put a deadbolt in the back just to be safe. It was just fishy how is this mofo getting into our place?

Our whole plaza actually has been broken into the past year. We have a fitness center they got a bunch of stuff stolen. There is a MMA school that got a bunch of stuff stolen. He actually has been targeting martial arts and fitness places. Multiple cars have been broken into while parked in our parking lot. The city I work in is actually a decent upper class neighborhood all of us were puzzled man.

I asked the police can you give me his name, and he told me his name and where he worked and this guy worked as a boxing trainer about 2 miles down at another gym. I instagram search that gym and looked for him and there was only one picture of him and he looked familiar, he looked like the janitor that works in our plaza. Still with just this one picture alone I couldn't confirm so I went back to police and asked if I could see his mugshot and after seeing his mugshot I was pretty darn sure but still no proof.

Meanwhile at our plaza all of our trash bins are full because the janitor hasn't been here the past few days.. go figure right? I thought It would be weird to call our landlord and ask hey what is the janitors name but I did take a picture of the overflowing trash can and sent her an email saying hey just wanted to give you a heads up that the janitor hasn't been here all week and the trash bins are full. She replies, "yes i'm aware" she then sends an email 20 second later, "by the way did you send your rent".... (seriously she does not give a FU%K just ask where the money, I said yes I sent it out monday B1TCH! (jk about the last part lol).

So yesterday a new janitor is there cleaning out the trash cans, now i'm pretty damn sure the janitor has been the crook but still needed my proof before I can act upon it with our landlord so I asked the new janitor hey where is your co-worker and she didn't know and I said do you at least know his name? She said no but I asked her for a huge favor and for her to find out for me, later she comes by and gives me all that guys info, his full name which matched the name of the guy the police arrested robbing my place.

Now that I have proof that the janitor has been burglazing our plaza the past year because he had a master key that was able to open all our backdoors.
None of us were even aware he had a master key is that normal for a janitor to have? It's not like he cleans inside our businesses he was just responsible to maintain the outside. The fact that our landlord did not give a damn when we reached out about our multiple break ins. The fact that the landlord hired a guy who is a FELON with a previous criminal record and is actually still on probation, meaning they didn't even do a simple background check. You would think after like the 5th break in they would hire a rent a cop security guard.

A part of me wants to just drop this and move on but a part of me wants to possibly seek legal action if we have a case. Even after all of this I love my work location, my facility, my neighbor businesses, and its close to all the local schools (I am a martial arts school and our main clients are children). I would like to stay at this plaza for many years to come. I don't want a bad relationship with the landlord but I feel they have been negligent and costed multiple businesses a lot of money and stress. It was to the point where the guy who works next door kept a baseball bat by his work desk because his car got broken into and he said 2 weeks ago he heard someone out back where he parked his car and he ran out there with his baseball bat only to see the JANITOR back there peeking in his window, He confronted him like yo what are you doing and the janitor just said he was investigating the car because it's been parked there for awhile, some bogus excuse but everything just clicks now. This guy was a lousy janitor he really sucked at cleaning up the plaza but he just got the job so he could get close to cars without looking suspicious and also getting access to the keys.

If you took the time to read all that.. thank you, and any advice is appreciated.
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Aeneas Hunter
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 9:36 am    Post subject:

You didn't actually ask a question, but I am assuming you want to know what liability the landlord might have for the break-ins. I don't know what state you are in, so I'll give sort of a generic answer because the law can vary a lot from state to state on these sorts of issues. The generic answer is "Not much." It would need to be some sort of negligent hiring and supervision claim. That's usually a tough claim, but the fact that the janitor had a master key is significant. If the landlord gave the master key to the janitor (as opposed to the janitor pinching it somehow), that could be a real problem for the landlord. The landlord was entrusting the janitor with access to your suite.

Otherwise, your lease probably puts the burden on you for just about everything, including having insurance to cover these sorts of losses. Your state might have some additional protection for you, but as a general rule commercial tenants don't get a lot of help from the law.

As a practical matter, you probably need to look into an alarm system. It doesn't need to be much. It's more of a deterrent than anything else. Unless you live some place with really fast police response times, an alarm system won't protect you from a smash and grab, but it will certainly deter someone like this guy.
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