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Garage door opener and burglary
Old 01-07-2013, 02:44 PM   #1
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Garage door opener and burglary

This has probably been raised before, but the other day our daughter, who is vacationing with us over the holidays from the Seattle area, received an e-mail from a friend and relayed this sad story.

He was out shopping at the mall and when he returned to his car it had been broken into. He keeps nothing in value in the car, but his garage remote had been taken from the sun visor along with his car insurance card from the glove box (containing his home address). He rushed home to find that he had been burgled.

From now on he will remember to lock the door into the house from his garage.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:01 PM   #2
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From now on he will remember to lock the door into the house from his garage.
Even that might be insufficient. The thief can simply pull into the garage, close the garage door, and get the locked door open at his leisure (kick it, drill it, chop it, etc.). After all, they are out of sight then.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:02 PM   #3
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Even that might be insufficient. The thief can simply pull into the garage, close the garage door, and get the locked door open at his leisure (kick it, drill it, chop it, etc.). After all, they are out of sight then.
Exactly what I said to DW. I even have my toolbox there in case he doesn't have any tools with him
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:07 PM   #4
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Yeah that was what I was going to say.

This bothers me too and all of us with remotes keep them in the car along with registration and insurance card specifying where we live. I try to make the remote as inconspicuous as possible but the clip holding it on the sun visor can be seen. Keeping it in the glove box is an option tho not as convenient. Maybe covering the sun visor with a "sock" is the answer, you can still press the button but can't see the remote and the visor is still usable to block the sun. Not sure where I can get something to be the "sock", large enough to slide over the visor.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:17 PM   #5
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What I have done is to remove the cap on the remote that has the slide switches; and when I left I moved one of the switches one notch and reversed it when I got home. Some are fully electronic and this is not possible, but if you have the aforementioned type, you might want to consider that.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:27 PM   #6
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I don't use the remote that came with the GDO. I replaced that with the one that you can attached to your key chain and so you carry it with your car keys.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:32 PM   #7
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When I saw the title of this thread I thought it was referring to this:

How to Unlock Your Garage Door from the Outside (and How to Prevent It)

Anyway, I used to carry my garage door remote with me rather than keep it in the car, but that got old so now I lock the glove box (where I keep the insurance & registration), so that in the event my car gets broken into, the thief wouldn't be able to find my home address (unless he/she knew me personally and could get it via another method).
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:35 PM   #8
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Hmmm, we keep the gate opener in the car (no garage) but if you wanted to get into our place, there's just a fence to keep you out. Oh, and 5 or 6 dogs that don't like strangers.



Hmmm, maybe I should type that sentence out and tape it to the bottom of the opener?
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:06 PM   #9
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This has probably been raised before, but the other day our daughter, who is vacationing with us over the holidays from the Seattle area, received an e-mail from a friend and relayed this sad story.
This is kind of an urban legend email.
See this snopes article. snopes.com: GPS Burglary

However my wife's car has homelink and I hid the opener for jeep convertible in the roll bar so it can't be stolen.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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Anyway, I used to carry my garage door remote with me rather than keep it in the car, but that got old so now I lock the glove box (where I keep the insurance & registration), so that in the event my car gets broken into, the thief wouldn't be able to find my home address (unless he/she knew me personally and could get it via another method).
I hate to tell you this, but a good car thief can open your locked glove box faster than you can with the key. Unfortunately, you'll have a couple of hundred dollars damage to deal with - but it won't even slow the thief down.

I have an idea. Don't know if this is doable. Leave a "standard" door opener "button" in your car - set to trigger your home security alarm. If a thief ever gets the button, he will be surprised when he pushes the button. Put your "for real" door-opener button in a hidey-hole in the car. Of course, YMMV.

This is a similar concept to protecting valuables with a safe. Get a cheap but heavy safe. Either put non-valuables (maybe just stuff to protect from fire like pictures) or bricks or lead shot in it. Hide your valuables in a hidey-hole. Most home burglaries take less than 20 minutes. In that time, a good hidey-hole may not be found, but the thief will either take the safe (not if it's very heavy) or waste his/her 20 minutes trying to open it. Again, YMMV.
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:13 PM   #11
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This makes me glad I got a crappy car, so that may not be worth the effort for the thief to break into
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:14 PM   #12
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DW's car is programmed to open the garage door, there is no GDO to steal in her car, so we get lucky on that one. But like others have said, they could easily steal just the address and break I without the GDO. We don't keep anything of real valuein the garage.

Thanks Alan, we will review what we can do further...

Somewhat related. DW has always insisted that we not program the nav with our "home" address as she thinks someone could steal the car and nav would take them right to our house. Unfortunately the car documents insurance, registration, maint invoices all have our address, so nav doesn't really matter. But I choose not to argue with her about it...
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Old 01-07-2013, 04:29 PM   #13
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I hate to tell you this, but a good car thief can open your locked glove box faster than you can with the key. Unfortunately, you'll have a couple of hundred dollars damage to deal with - but it won't even slow the thief down.
True, nothing will stop a determined criminal, but the simple act of locking your doors & the glove box, and hiding the remote (and other valuables) out of sight will deter a lot of thieves. Especially if there are easier targets nearby. That's what I'm counting on anyway.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:02 PM   #14
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This is kind of an urban legend email.
See this snopes article. snopes.com: GPS Burglary

However my wife's car has homelink and I hid the opener for jeep convertible in the roll bar so it can't be stolen.
It may or may not be an urban legend, but before I retired I was taking a walk on break around the block and found a car, passenger's side window smashed, glove box obviously gone thru. Let security know when I got back to the office, they called local PD, and i went back to the car to wait for them. They told me that exact thing: GDO + Registration = open access. AND (forgive me for being sexist) the bad guys watch for a WOMAN parking and going to work. The odds are even greater that the home is unoccupied than if it is a man. The answer SEEMS to be, get one of the mini openers and put it on your key ring.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #15
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Urban legend? Bits and pieces, but parts are also very real.

DW's boss had her keys stolen (actually left them on a public counter in the office lobby). Couldn't find the keys, and went out to her car to see if they were there. They weren't, but the car door was unlocked, and all the registration stuff taken.

Immediately called a locksmith and met him at the house to change the locks. Nothing happened... yet. Here the problem wasn't a garage door opener, but rather the remote for the car. Lose your keys in a public place with a small lot, and the thief has easy access to your car with the key remote. Oh, and they also have the keys to your house. Nice.

Please note there is a link above about emergency releases on garage doors. Let's expand on that (use a coat hanger to catch emergency release). A casual thief can just punch a window out on your door and pull the cord, be in your garage in 5 seconds with the door closed behind, now sight unseen.

Theft risk is everywhere.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:15 PM   #16
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This is kind of an urban legend email.
See this snopes article. snopes.com: GPS Burglary

However my wife's car has homelink and I hid the opener for jeep convertible in the roll bar so it can't be stolen.
What DD received was not a chain mail but from a personal friend so I believe it happened.

btw, I followed the Snopes link above which said it was partly true and also quoted this real life incident. (which happened a year after the chain e-mail was first reported)
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:24 PM   #17
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As I said, I personally saw the broken passenger window and pilfered glove box.

It DOES happen.

Rampant? Heck no.

Easy to fix with a small key ring opener.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:45 PM   #18
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This has probably been raised before, but the other day our daughter, who is vacationing with us over the holidays from the Seattle area, received an e-mail from a friend and relayed this sad story.

He was out shopping at the mall and when he returned to his car it had been broken into. He keeps nothing in value in the car, but his garage remote had been taken from the sun visor along with his car insurance card from the glove box (containing his home address). He rushed home to find that he had been burgled.

From now on he will remember to lock the door into the house from his garage.
A good idea to lock that door. Even if a car isn't broken into.

We came home from a trip to find that our electricity was off and therefore our garage door remote wouldn't open the door. We always go in through the garage door and we didn't have our front door key with us.

But I remembered watching a TV news show where they explained how burglars can open a garage door. i did it - it worked - and we broke into our own house. Now I lock the house/garage door at all times.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:50 PM   #19
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one time i had to break into my own home. i got in thru the crawl space opening outside, crawled to where the opening was in the pantry floor, pushed that open and voila.
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Old 01-07-2013, 07:02 PM   #20
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one time i had to break into my own home.
Me too! I went thru an old wood kitchen window mounted with just 4 wood screws and caulk. Used a screwdriver to remove caulk and screws under 10 minutes. Also, I moved about 1 inch/sec for about 15 ft down the hallway to defeat the motion sensor on the alarm so I could put in the password to deactivate it. It won't be so easy if I have to do this again, I've since upgraded kitchen and DR wood windows mounted only with screws. All basement windows changed to glass block.
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