Most homeowners envision burglars breaking a window or forcing a door open to gain access into a home. Not so. Nearly half of all residential burglaries occur via access through an unlocked door or window. But the quickest and simplest means for most burglars to gain entry is often through an open garage door. Garage door security is critical. FBI, local Sheriff/Police data and Department of Justice Statistics all tell us repeatedly that thousands of homes are burglarized every year.
Police say open garages invite burglars who, once in, may take the opportunity to walk through another door into the home. And anything can happen once they are in your house. Don't risk yourself or your family's safety. The best advice is to always keep garage doors closed when not in use. Simply leaving a garage door open can lead to more serious crimes such as a well-known crime that occurred in Salt Lake City, UT:
"Elizabeth Smart's father admitted today he left the garage door to the family home open for hours before the 14-year-old was taken from her bedroom..." (ABCNews.com June 17, 2002)
Excerpt: "The victim's daughter had been asleep on the sofa in the family room and was awakened by an unknown person who entered through an open garage door and unlocked door leading into the kitchen." Items stolen from the incident: wrapped presents and an automobile.
Excerpt: "The biggest problem people are having is not closing their garage doors -- it's almost 50 percent or more (of the burglaries) right now,"said crime prevention officer Jim Barrentine.
Excerpt: "Your garage door should be securely locked at all times (even when you are home). Keeping it locked is just as important as keeping your home locked, especially if the garage is attached to the home. Once inside the garage a burglar can work uninterrupted at getting into the house. Tempe Police Department statistics show that approximately 40% of our non-forced entry residential crime is through open garage doors."