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Burglars in Washington State Using Garage Doors to Access Homes

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January 6, 2014
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Burglars in Washington State Using Garage Doors to Access Homes

We know a lot about burglar behaviors. For instance, we know when intruders are most likely to operate: during daylight hours - when you are less likely to be home. We also know what burglars like to steal:

  • Cash
  • Jewelry
  • Electronics
  • Guns
  • Prescription drugs

And lastly, we know how intruders get in your home in the first place.

  • Front Door – 34%
  • Back Door – 23%
  • First Floor Windows – 23%

That leaves roughly 20% of illegal entries through some other opening, and one particular means of access has been getting more attention lately – your garage door. An interesting article from Covington, Washington provides the details.

Bold thieves in South King County are using garage door openers to burglarize homes while families sleep inside. Police say they've seen a recent spike in burglaries in which criminals rifle through cars looking for garage door openers, then use the device to get inside. "I would say it's more than a coincidence that it's in the same geographical area the same method of getting in the house each time," said Sgt. Cindi West of the King County Sheriff's Office.

Resourceful Thieves

Covington's Dave Neale said burglars used a similar method to get into his house. After finding his garage door opener in his car, which was parked outside in his driveway, Neale said it took just a click of a button for the thief or thieves to get inside his house. The burglars then took credit and debit cards from a purse before moving upstairs, where Neale and his family were sleeping. "If they are that bold to go up the stairs, you don't know what their intentions were," Neale said.

It Could Have Been Worse

Luckily the family dog, Sheba, started barking and scared the burglars away. Neale said he normally sets his house alarm and locks his car doors, but he didn't that night because he had relatives spending the night. He plans to change his habits and warn other to be on the lookout for these brazen thieves, and West said there are a few simple things anyone can do to reduce their risk of burglary.

Police Provide Advice

"Take your garage door openers out of your car," she said. "This is not a new trend. It's happened for years." Investigators collected fingerprints and other evidence from Neale's home, but they say they could use any tips from the public.

The good news is that this homeowner has a home security system in the first place – and that he normally arms it: that puts his family way ahead of the game. Although it’s hard to believe – at least for those of us who have spent decades providing peace of mind to homeowners – only about one in five US homes even has a home alarm system!

Garage Doors Need Protection

And for people who want an easy and reliable way to protect their garage doors, there are now wireless garage door sensors that are activated when the door is opened. Good alarm companies sell these sensors for a very affordable price – companies like FrontPoint.

More Timely Home Security Advice

FrontPoint has prepared its own list of Top 10 Home Security Tips. Proactive security measures are not that complicated, and they are fairly well understood by law enforcement - and the alarm industry.

But let’s remember that we’re not just talking about intrusion detection: there are many other benefits with today’s fully featured alarm systems: round-the-clock fire and environmental monitoring, remote control of arming and disarming, text and email notifications, free mobile apps, video services, and even remote control of lights, locks, and thermostats. Companies like FrontPoint sell the latest technology, along with that basic peace of mind, so you can feel both protected and connected.

Yes, with a burglary taking place every 14 seconds in the US, intrusion detection is the main focus, provided by a monitored home alarm system – especially one with safer cellular monitoring. FrontPoint specializes in these systems: as the leader in wireless home security, and the #1 ranked alarm company in the US, that’s our commitment. FrontPoint systems are safer, smarter, simpler, more affordable, and virtually impossible to defeat – for the random intruder, or the most experienced burglar.

Get safer, smarter home security

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mary nilan
January 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM
Great article-will definitely share on FB/Twitter
Peter M. Rogers
January 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM
Thanks, Mary. We appreciate the feedback!
mary nilan
January 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM
Great article-will definitely share on FB/Twitter
Peter M. Rogers
January 7, 2014 at 4:47 PM
Thanks, Mary. We appreciate the feedback!
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