Storing things in public lockers for years

It’s common to see movie characters find things in, or retrieve things from, airport or bus station or subway lockers where they have been for years.

Is it really possible to use a public locker like a long-term safe deposit box? I think most newer ones have monitoring of their use and notices are posted that lockers left over 24 hours or 3 days or some short time will be emptied and the contents stored.

How did it work in the pre-monitoring era? Did station security just go through all the lockers at intervals? Or could your quarter really buy you a reasonably safe, secure storage unit for an indefinite time? If so, wouldn’t some large portion or all of the lockers eventually get “locked up” in this way?

I want to know how they store stuff in storage units for years and years, like the bit in some horror movies where they find the killer’s stash after he’s been in jail or dead for 5 to 10 years.

Seems to me these places cost around $100/month. We have quite the well-heeled serial killer if he can afford to pre-pay 5 years ($6,000) to stash his mementos and saws.

Yeah, most public lockers warn anything left overnight will be removed and stored elswhere. Plus, thanks to the IRA and the PLO (and now, al Qeda) most public coin-operated storage lockers were removed from places like bus stations and rail stations.

Well, the poster boy for that, Hannibal Lecter, was quite well-off. I can see a storage unit being rented and left untouched for a decade, five years easily. But you’re right: exactly when did some backwoods killer have time and money to rent and pack a storage unit? As an aside, though, the only business within about three-four miles of my house is a self-storage. Perfect for woodland serial killers etc.

Storage lockers, fine as long as you have them paid, no one cares. There’s even a show about this “storage wars” where they buy the contents of lapsed lockers. In most areas you can only pay one or two years in advance. Of course it’s easy to have some agent paying for you.

Lockers like in bus stations are cleared out on a periodic basis. Rather short period, too

The lockers in train and bus stations by the 50s and 60s had a time limit – usually 24 hours. They did a check and if you overstayed, then they’d open the locker and take it to lost and found. After awhile, it would be auctioned off.

Back before the self-service lockers were invented, there was a desk where you left your item and got a claim check (Humphrey Bogart uses this in The Maltese Falcon). The station would only be responsible for the baggage for a set amount of time – a couple of days, tops. After that it would go to lost and found, then auctioned off.

So while they could be used to stash things for a day or so, but keeping them for the long term was not secure.

Now if you paid the bribe to the worker, perhaps you could get your 25 cent locker onto a “safe” list. Who knows how long they might overlook it in their cleanups ?
My wife said she had a few lockers at university. They weren’t being used , there were heaps spare, so she got a few to store her papers in. She said she wouldn’t keep the papers if the lockers were not there to be used. If she happened to need the papers, she could go back to look for them sometime… the university may someday clean out those lockers… I don’t know if that has been done yet or not.

It’s just plot driven, like guns that shoot more times than bullets it can hold, cars that can drive longer than their gas tanks can carry, etc.

What movie(s) portray such a scenario stretching out into years?

Which movie was it - Get Shorty? - the time period IIRC was several days, more than 24 hours.

Men In Black - although I expect someone is paying for that one.

Once Upon a Time in America

Fringe did it in a season 5 episode.

A sharp crook isn’t going to store a bag of heisted diamonds in a train station locker, I wouldn’t think. Only dumb crooks and those are the ones usually portrayed in the movies.

It’s been awhile since seeing it but I vaguely remember George Kennedy retrieving something from a bus locker in Thunderbolt & Lightfoot. Eastwood saw him there and decided to hop back into Jeff Bridges’ '73 Riviera.

Can anyone name an airport, train station, or bus station that even HAVE lockers anymore? I think they pretty much went away after 9/11, at lease in the US. I’m curious about anywhere that still as them.

I believe I’ve seen those lockers in airports, but after the security checkpoint. In other words, after anything you might want to put thee has already been x-rayed.

Here is a webpage from the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport that mentions lockers in one terminal.

Here is an article that mentions the lockers being available in 41 airports around the US, and that they were shut down after September 11, but were later reopened.

There are lockers in local bus depots. I don’t recall ever seeing them in airports.

Any confidential or private space, no matter how small, is rapidly disappearing from the global socialist landscape.
The shift to ‘Big Brother’ has been almost as fast as the Star Trek 'communicator…
Does that mean we have the electro/digital revolution to blame for the lightning fast loss of personal privacy?

Wait, you mean you can’t fire an M16 for the minutes straight on full auto? Who knew? !

Reported necropost.