UPDATE: Suspects arrested in storage unit theft - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Suspects arrested in storage unit theft

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Cleveland police tell Channel 3 they have arrested two suspects in the storage unit theft.

They say tips from their Facebook friends revealed the identification of the storage thieves. The department's Criminal Investigations Division detectives followed up with the tips, locating the suspects, recovering much of stolen property, and charging Suzanne Mays and Tim Rogers with Burglary, with other charges pending.

Investigators were able to recover most of the stolen items and return them to the family on Friday. 

It was an emotional day for the items' owner, Arthella Mizell, who told Channel 3 she's thankful she and her family are able to to hold onto a lifetime of memories once again. 

"This means to me the world," said Mizell. 

Surveillance video caught Mays and Rogers and walking into an indoor storage complex taking several of the Mizell's belongings. 

Officers found the stolen items and the pair in a nearby home. 

"People will go by and see your car unlocked or see your house you know check doors and see if it's unlocked, and in this case (Mizell) said she didn't properly lock it so it's a crime of opportunity, and they will take it," said Evie West,  a spokesperson for the Cleveland Police Department. "You have to be a very lowdown individual to do something like this and especially with these kinds of things that are so personal and can never be replaced. Of course, all of that will come into place as the charges surface of how much was this theft and other things."

Though Mizell is still missing some of her things, she said she's grateful for what was returned. 

"He was just a good man," said Mizell. "I had been praying a lot you know, because the kids (especially the guitar) that was like daddy dying again. If I didn't get anything else. I'm happy I got the guitar back."

The precious items piece together a lifetime of memories, that Mizell plans to pass down to her children and to her spiritual family in Haiti. 

Any person that may have made any online purchases sold by these individuals on Cleveland Yardsale, Facebook, Letgo, any other mobile marketplace or individual transactions, please contact Detective Ratcliff 423-559-3319 so that these items can be returned to their rightful owner.


PREVIOUS STORY: Thieves broke into the ‘Inman Street Climate Control Storage’ units in Cleveland last week and they got away with a lifetime of memories.

There’s not much to the building. There’s halls, locks and steel doors. It’s what's behind them that matters.

Some store their belongings in times of transition, others store things when life gets too full.

Arthella Mizell stored a lifetime in a five by five unit.

"They’re irreplaceable and it was all of the things that were special to him,” Mizell said.

Arthella married Joseph Mizell in 1983, together, they traveled the world as missionaries and fell in love with Haiti.

In December, Joseph passed away. Now, Arthella plans to move in with family, she wanted a safe place for her husband's things, and mementos from the couple's travels. 

"Everybody needed something from him, to remember him,” she explained.

Now her storage unit is almost empty, surveillance video shows a group of crooks prowling the aisles of an indoor storage complex.

They swiped a guitar, guns and boxes of trinkets from countries the Mizells served, including a rare wooden boat the U.S. Embassy in Haiti gave them.

"He was one of a kind, boy just because I’m his wife, but you can ask anybody, one of a kind just like these little things we had,” Mizell said.

Prized possessions, police estimate to have a cash value of $5,000. The sentimental value is much more.

It’s a time of transition for Arthella, who said she has to close the door on the emptiness of this last week, and remember a life full of memories.

"I mean they're just things but they're not replaceable just like he's not replaceable,” she said.

The Cleveland Police Department is offering a $500 reward for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those involved. You can leave a confidential tip via CPD Facebook inbox or contact Detective Andy Ratcliff (423) 559-3319.

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