Burglars use garage door openers in unlocked cars to break into homes

Crooks open garage doors to loot electronics, guns

By Julie Salomone
iStock/jimkruger

Mid-Range Garage Door Replacement -- The average cost is $1,291, with an average resale value of $1,083. Cost recouped is 84%.

Tampa, Fla. - Detectives are working to identify the suspects who broke into several homes in the New Tampa, Florida area.

Tampa Police said the break-ins happened on March 10, April 3, 18 and 20.

Police believes all the break-ins are connected. Officers are working to develop leads and identify the suspects.

Tiffany Loflin said her family was not home when thieves broke into her house in Tampa. She thinks the family's Dalmatian scared them out of her home.

"I think whenever they came to the door, he started barking and was really loud, deep bark especially in the middle of the night, 4 a.m.," said Tiffany Loflin.

She said her daughter arrived home first and found the garage door open and the door leading into their home.

"The garage was open so I thought my mom left it open but when the door was wide open. It was kind of off," said Tiyana Samuel.

Some of the burglaries happened at homes located off of Bruce B. Downs Boulevard in Tampa.

Several neighbors told ABC Action News the thieves got garage door openers found in unlocked cars and used them to open the garage door and gain access to the home.

"I think they were looking for very specific items either high-end electronics in your vehicles or in your homes if they could get in or possibly weapons," said Carolina Jones.

One homeowner shared his story on Facebook. He wrote, "I was in the living room and saw the door open. They saw me and ran out when I jumped up and went after them."

Neighbors said the break-ins happened early in the morning between 4 and 5 a.m.

Homeowners said it appears nothing was stolen except a television from inside one of the homes.

"We've already talked to several neighbors that have already bought several outside surveillance cameras. We've also ordered ours," Jones said.

Neighbors said they will be locking their doors and adding more cameras throughout the neighborhood.

Tampa Police are working to identify the thieves involved in these break-ins.

The-CNN-Wire ™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.