Crooks targeting garage door openers in Houston area

Thieves look for cars parked in driveways, also parking lots

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - A new crime trend has thieves targeting cars looking for garage door openers. The crooks then use them to get inside your garage and sometimes even your home.

It happened to one man who lives in the 1800 block of Watercrest in the Lazybrook section of The Heights.

"We're seeing a lot of these types of crimes taking place," said Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen. "And yes, they're using garage door openers to get into people's homes."

Rosen said thieves don't just look for cars parked in driveways but also parking lots.

"They're looking and scanning for cars that have garage door openers, they see one above the visor and that's the car they're going to target," Rosen said.

But if the crook gets a hold of a garage door opener in a shopping mall parking lot, how do they know where the person lives?

Rosen said they'll actually look for an address on a piece of mail or an insurance card left in a glove box, then the thieves will break-in with the garage door opener.

Plus, Rosen said if you program your GPS home button with your actual address, they can steal that and find out where you live.

"You have to take an active role in making sure you don't leave stuff behind for criminals to be enticed to break into your car," he said.

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