Thieves Can Break Into Your Garage in 6 Seconds - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Thieves Can Break Into Your Garage in 6 Seconds

Thieves are getting creative when it comes to breaking into your home.

“The newest trend that's out there, that's circulating, is with garage doors,” Officer Jeff Hughes with the Wichita Falls Police Department said.

An online video shows it only takes six seconds.  It also shows they don't need a fancy tool to do it.  All they need is a wire clothes hanger and good coordination.

“In 2014 we had a total of 727 residential burglaries reported,” he said.

He said 11 of those were done through the garage.  Police couldn't specify it any of them were done using this particular method.  However, no matter how thieves do it, you need to protect your home.

Thieves will use the hanger to hook onto the emergency release latch.  They will also try to hook onto the emergency release knob.

Hughes said, “The best thing that you can do is actually just cut that off and leave the rope as a free flowing rope.”

An easy way to prevent this type of break-in is by simply using a zip tie.  You can get it at any hardware store for around five-dollars.  You just put the zip tie though any of the holes you can find around the emergency release lever.  Then you can fasten it up at the top.  It will hold it and prevent a hanger from being able to be used on the emergency release to open the garage door.  However, if you need to open your garage in an emergency situation, you can snap the zip tie by using your body weight to pull on the rope.

However, Hughes said if you decide to do this, you need to get a high quality zip tie.

“It's plastic.  So, over time what's going to happen in the heat and the cold, it's going to become brittle and it's going to become frail and then that zip tie will fail you in the long run,” he said.

Police said a common mistake is people leaving the door from the garage into their house unlocked.

“If you were to survey folks about that door that leads from the garage into their house, the majority of folks will tell you that they don't lock it because of convenience,” Hughes said.

So, not only can thieves steal what'd in your garage, such as a bicycle, a lawn mower, or your tools, they can also steal anything from inside your home.  Police said the best solution, lock that door.

“If your garage door is ever defeated, or you accidentally leave it up, then that door is an exterior door into your house and it should be treated that way,” Hughes said.

Something else to consider.  Thieves will break into your car looking for your garage opener.  So, either hide it in your vehicle, or take it will you when you leave your car.

Also, if you have an alarm system, that's great.  However, thieves are getting creative with that too.  If they hear the alarm go off when the break in, they will close the garage door and hide.  Then there will be another person acting as a lookout to let the thief in the garage know when the coast is clear.

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6
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