Thursday, May 13, 2010

Beer burglars back

I've blogged on many occasions about garage-shopping, and our strategies to reduce it.  It's spring, though, and after the yard work is done and the game of horse has been played in the driveway, the garage doors are increasingly left up while no one is watching.

Garage shopping is a crime in which the burglars simply cruise around looking for garage doors that are standing open, then help themselves to the goods.  Many of the valuables in your garage have wheels or handles that make them easy prey--things like tool boxes, golf bags, bicycles, and so forth. One of the common targets, however, lacks wheels and handles, but is nonetheless quite popular:  beer. In my neighborhood, many people around have a spare refrigerator in the garage, and a thief can be reasonably certain that a garage fridge contains the golden elixir.  There thefts occur in the evening hours, for the most part, often when its still light out and the residents are at home.  A few of these have occurred in my neighborhood this month, and in two of those cases the thirsty suspect was spotted getting into a gold Honda Odyssey minivan.  I'm keeping an eye peeled for that one. 

The more people keep that garage door buttoned up, the less exposed they are to these crimes.  We've been pretty successful in driving down the overall numbers.  When I checked this morning, I see that we have had 25 burglaries through open garage doors so far this year.  Just five years ago, in 2005, that number stood at 87 on May 12.  That's quite a drop, and I attribute it to good police work by our late shift officers, who so far this year have rang 225 doorbells to let homeowners know they forgot to button up.


Anonymous said...

My garage is under my apartment. As I get older I am finding out the truth in the old maxim " memory is the first thing to go". After losing sleep several times wondering whether I closed the garage before I went to bed I solved the problem. I installed a camera (less than $50 from Lowes)and hooked it up to a small TV set by my bedside. Now instead of having to get up and get dressed and go downstairs to check on the garage I just turn on my monitor. Pretty cheap peace of mind.

Gun Nut

ARRRRG!!!! said...

My girlfriend drinks that beer Steve. She makes a face like it is bitter so I've never tried it. I drink a smoother Lager out of my favorite mug.

Anonymous said...


On the related linked post, this was excerpted from one of the comments there:

"I just said I might prefer taking the risk rather than being awakened in the middle of the night. It is my choice, isn't it?"

Couldn't such an opt-out person call the service desk and have their address flagged with a note that they preferred to not be notified of an open garage door? I'd assume that the Officer might check the address for previous contacts and whatnot, and thus see the flag. Even if the Officer saw a couple od hoodied meth-heads quietly loading up stuff in the dark, they could just figure that the owner didn't wish to be awakened.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to hear that officers are being proactive and ringing doorbells to let residents know their garage doors are open. It's that extra step that takes just a few minutes that give us more peace of mind (less property stolen!). Thanks LPD!

Anonymous said...

Yes, intentionally leaving one's garage door up is like putting your food trash out in plastic bags or flimsy cans when living in bear country. Why? Bears and thieves are alike in their preference for soft targets and an easy meal. Both are primarily scavengers that will return to the area where they happily stuffed their faces recently. Even if you don't care that your stuff might be ripped off (or that bears habitually hang around waiting for the usual pinhead to toss out the bagged trash), it's just being a crappy neighbor when you make your property a soft target, because it attracts thieves to the area. If they get easy loot to pawn for teener money, they'll come back again and again.

Anonymous said...

"I'd assume that the Officer might check the address for previous contacts and whatnot, and thus see the flag."

NOT! Just leave a sign in the front yard so the cops know to leave you alone. The crooks will try not to wake you up either.

Anonymous said...

As a victim of this type of theft - a loss which included a $1500 company laptop (the ONE time I left my bag in the backseat...) I can attest that this is a "brainfart" mistake that can cost you big.

One thing to consider - Home Depot (among other places) sells a garage door monitor that you can attach to any garage door - and will flash inside the house when your door is open.

$24 very well spent.

Anonymous said...

How fast do you think the person who 'opted out on being notified' would complain that the cops did nothing to help?