Q: No matter how hard we try to remember, it seems inevitable that we sometimes forget to close the garage door. Do you have any tips about how to protect our garages (and the houses they lead into) from theft?

A: Open garage forms of entry are like most other burglaries and thefts-they are crimes of opportunity. Most often burglaries occur when people are not home. Therefore, the majority occur during daylight hours and during the weekdays. Most burglars and thieves want to get in and get property without confronting anyone. (Confrontation) does happen, but not frequently. We do see a few more thefts from garages and sheds during the spring and summer when burglars can see homeowners elsewhere, like working in their front yard while the garage or shed is in the back. Also, people lay their tools or equipment down and move to another area of their yard to work, leaving things handy for a thief to walk up and grab and keep going. Some precautions that can be taken are to always shut your garage or shed when you are not working in it or when it is out of your sight. Lock the door between the garage and house. Often these locks are not deadbolts and can be kicked in fairly easily. Also, we have often in a hurry leaving for work or errands, so when using a remote garage door opener/closer, take the extra few seconds and ensure that it is down and stays down when you leave. Same thing at home when you’re inside. When you shut it, make sure it is down and stays down. If you are gone on vacation, unplug the automatic opener and lock it manually.

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