Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Open Garage Doors are Open Invitation to Crimes!

In the daytime or the nighttime an open garage door creates an opportunity for easy access to person’s home.

Since January of this year officers have taken 18 burglary reports where illegal entry was gained through an open garage door. Many of these crimes were committed while the residents were at home sleeping. Not a pleasant thought!

When a home is entered while a person is in the home this makes the entry an Aggravated Burglary. A serious felony crime.

Who commits theses crimes? Investigations into these incidents show the criminals may be juveniles seeking to steal liquor or to more hardened criminals who steal cars from the garage. But the most common items stolen from open garages are electronics such as GPS’s, IPods, and lap top computers. Other goods, such as, golf clubs and lawn equipment can easily be sold or traded.

We also know “druggers” cruise neighborhoods looking for open garages so they can steal purses and wallets from cars in the open garages. The real target items for this type of thief are credit cards and check books. The stolen credit cards are immediately used at retail stores to make large purchases or to buy gift cards. Many times the stolen cards are used multiple times before the homeowners even discover a theft occurred. We all know retail store pass on losses to customers and that means we all pay higher prices.

The summer months are prime times for open garage door crimes. With that in mind everyone in a household needs to be aware and close garage doors. It takes more time and effort to check on and close open doors. Being a crime victim is a traumatic experience in itself. Making notifications to financial institutions and/or credit card companies regarding stolen credit cards is time consuming. Waiting for new credit cards to be issued and mailed can delay day to day activities and even disrupt vacations plans.

The time and effort taken to close and secure garage doors certainly reduces a person’s chances of being a crime victim.