Openers were designed to make your life easier, but thieves can use them against you.
Garage door opener theft is apparently a hot trend right now. Sometimes it seems that if criminals put half the amount of effort into working an honest job as they do breaking into vehicles and homes, everyone, including the thieves, would be a lot safer.
But that's not likely to happen any time soon, so you need to protect yourself and your property. Your garage door is a real target. Here's why, and what you can do to help prevent burglary from happening to you.
Garage Doors Aren't Really Safe
Your garage might be the least of your break-in worries. After all, there's no real doorknob to fuss with and no way to slide in a credit card and pop a lock. If someone were brazen enough to attempt a break in, surely the neighbors would notice. Unfortunately, criminals don't need those methods anyway, not when they have your garage door remote.
Once your garage is open, the logical next achievement to unlock is the door to your home. But, wait. How did anyone gain access to your garage remote in the first place? It's really not as difficult as you might think.
Opener Remote Theft is on the Rise
Police in Hendersonville, TN, recently reported a series of eight cars that were broken into, according to Fox6 WBRC News. But the garage door remotes, not the vehicles themselves, were the real target.
Now think about what's in your car's glove compartment. Maybe you've tucked away a bill or another piece of mail, or the registration and insurance cards for your vehicle. Most people have some identifying information with a home address listed on it. With your remote in one hand and your home address in the other, the next step in this nefarious plan is to burglarize your home.
Once inside the garage, no one will see the burglar's efforts to break into your home.
Experts Say it's Time to Change Habits
In Arizona, the Sonoran News interviewed a garage door service employee who explained that leaving the remote in your car is a bad idea. And the Sonoran Police stressed that once a thief has the remote, they have free access to your garage and your whole house.
The best idea is to take your remote along when you exit your vehicle. They're small, so you can fit one into your purse or pocket. You wouldn't leave your keys inside, even though that was once a pretty common practice. Now that criminals have broadened their horizons, you should broaden the ways that you keep your property safe.
With a few changes, your home and family will stay safer.
Make Life More Difficult for Burglars
You do have other options for protecting your house. Your first line of defense is the door itself. So never leave it open, even when you're home. If you have windows inside your garage, cover them with curtains or transparent window frosting paint. You'll still get sunlight, but burglars can't see inside.
If you leave town, back your car out of the garage and go back inside to lock it down manually. Then leave through the front door. You can use a padlock to secure the garage door from the inside, or, as ITS Tactical recommends, use C clamps to prevent it from being rolled up. Also think about replacing the passage door from the garage to your home with a steel model and beefing up hinges and the frame.
Where there's a will there's a way, and it seems that burglars always have the will to take what isn't theirs. The days of leaving the front door unlocked and the keys in your car are long gone. With the new trend of garage door remote theft, it's time for yet another measure of safety.
Take your remote with you. It's as easy as carrying your phone. The protection that it affords far outweighs any inconvenience, and before you know it, it will be just one more good habit that you've acquired.