It’s not a new trick, but it works. Burglars break into cars, sometimes just by opening unlocked cars, press the garage door opener button, and walk right into the house. Most homeowners don’t realize that the garage opener is one of the most successful home burglary tools used frequently by smart thieves, and the easiest way to breach home security. Breaking into a car is quicker and easier than breaking into a house, plus it can be used as a hiding place. If you open the garage and no one makes a sound, the home is either empty, or everyone is asleep. Many families leave the door between the garage and the house unlocked at night, viewing it as more of an “inside door” and less of a security door.
In Covington, Washington, a neighborhood near Seattle, there has been a recent spike in the number of burglars using garage door openers to break in to homes. One Covington resident, Dave Neale, described the burglary that took place while he and his family slept. Burglars found the garage door opener in his car, used it to open the garage, and walked right into his home. After taking credit and debit cards from a purse on the first floor, the headed upstairs where the family was fast asleep. Their dog heard the burglars, began barking, and scared them away. Neale said that he usually locks his home and car doors, and sets his home security system at night, but he skipped it that night due to visiting relatives. It is scary to consider what actions the burglars may have taken if the dog did not bark. Most clear-headed burglars do not want to confront homeowners, but these thieves headed straight upstairs.
There are some very important home security tips we can learn from these garage door crimes:
- Never leave a garage door opener in the car. It may be more convenient, but you need to keep it in a purse or handbag, or inside the house overnight.
- Always used security systems with loud alarms. Burglars can strike day or night, and you need to protect your home at any time.
- Always lock the door between your home and attached garage. This is not a convenience door; it is a door that provides security. If your door is flimsy or doesn’t lock, consider replacing it with a steel door that has a deadbolt.
- Never leave a spare key in your garage, in a fake rock, or under the front door welcome mat. Every burglar knows how to look for these too.
Keep your family safe and secure at all times. Burglars never take a night off, so you shouldn’t ever take a night off from your vigilant home security measures either.
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