This is one of the two most frequently reported crimes within the Heritage Neighborhood Partnership vicinity. The other type of crime with high frequency is smash and grab crime on vehicles.
Back in 2007, we had a crime ring involved with targeting open garage doors. Since then, we may only average one or two a year for our HNP that includes about 1,000 homes. The number of incidents could be higher, since some of these type of quick hit & run crimes go unreported by home owners.
Open garage doors is a very inviting crime. This crime is usually very quick to do. Vandals slowly drive through the neighborhood looking for vulnerable targets like open garage doors. Those that keep their doors open are not only exposing themselves to this kind of crime, but they are inviting this kind of crime to our neighborhood by making it attractive for these kind of vandals to come visit! This rule is very easy to follow. If you are not in your front yard or your garage, close the garage door. Even if you are in your backyard momentarily (say you are mowing), take a garage door opener with you and close the door.
We received the following
idea from one of our HNP residents: "The open garage door is
really a big invitation for criminals. Not meaning to sound like a
commercial: We bought a device that automatically closes the garage
door. It hooks into the garage door unit and after a set time
automatically closes the door; it will also close the door if it gets
dark outside. I always thought I was pretty good about closing the door,
it is amazing how many times I here the auto closer goes "beep beep
beep" as it closes the door for me when I forget. For anyone
interested in getting one, I highly recommend the Garage Butler, which
can be found at
http://www.garagebutler.com. We bought ours last year at the home
show for $50. Well worth the money."