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Mill Valley Police Issue Advice on Preventing Garage Door Break-ins

The following is a news release from the Mill Valley Police Department: 


It only takes a mere six seconds and a wire hanger for a burglar to gain access to your home through a garage door.  Garage doors, like all doors in your home, are vulnerable to burglars. Garage doors are a common weak point when looking at security in a whole-home approach and an easy target for thieves. Garage door are not only a weakness, but provide criminals a shelter once inside. To the casual passerby an open garage with a work truck pulled up to it doesn't look out of place or scream break-in.

Securing your garage door doesn't just mean the roll-up door, you have to look at every entrance point as a vulnerability. Not that any loss to your family isn't devastating, but one that occurs through a preventable measure just shouldn't happen.  Please watch this short video to see how it works and what you can do to protect yourself.

When the first generation of automatic openers came out they all featured the same code. You can imagine the security risk by having one of these openers. Thieves could just drive a neighborhood pushing their purchased transmitter and if you had the same brand as they did, they were in.
The second generation of openers increased their security by featuring dip switches that could be set by the owner to a unique combination. While this did increase security, most owners would leave the default setting on and guess what -- they are in again. Another security risk of the second-gen openers is that a code grabber could be utilized to gain access to your system. A code grabber device works by locking onto your signal and memorizing it. Then, all a thief would have to do is re-transmit the code and they were in.
Modern automatic garage door openers now feature rolling-code technology, where your remote will transmit a brand new security code each time you press your remote. There are over 100 billion codes, so the likelihood of a code grabber working are very slim. Be sure that your opener features this rolling-code technology.

 Here are 10 garage door safety tips:                

  1. Don't leave the garage door remote in your vehicle - If a thief breaks in to your car and steal the remote he has a way into your home.
  2. Invest in a keychain remote opener. Stop using that remote you clip to your visor and get a keychain remote opener that you can leave on your keys.
  3. Secure your garage door emergency release and learn how easy it is throw some zip-ties on your emergency release and still retain it's intended function.
  4. Keep it locked.  Put a deadbolt on the door between your house and garage; is it really that much of an inconvenience to have to use a key each time you come home?
  5. Make sure the door from your garage into your house is as secure as your front door.  Ensure you have a strong, sturdy door made out of solid-core wood or reinforced steel and install an Anti-Kick device like the Door Devil.
  6. Don't leave your garage door open.  An open garage is an invitation to someone to pop their heads in and grab something. Listen up -- it doesn't matter how safe you think your neighborhood is, good neighborhoods are the first place criminals like to drive through to case houses.
  7. Install a wide-angle peephole in the door between your house and your garage. You'll at least be able to see what's going on if you hear a strange noise, rather than opening the door to find out.
  8. Frost or cover your garage windows.  Don't do thieves any favors by enabling them to see when your vehicle is gone and an even better idea would be to replace the door with one that lacks windows.
  9. Padlock the throw latch on your garage door when you're out of town. If you don't have a manual lock on your garage door, you can use a c-clamp tightened down on each side of the door track to effectively "lock" down the door. This is a similar lock to those small window track locks for your home interior windows.
  10. Don't neglect maintenance on the mechanical parts of your roll-up garage door and keep an eye out for corrosion. Don't forget the door from your garage to your house; check the frame, locks, hinges and any replaceable items.

Please report suspicious and/or criminal activity to the Mill Valley Police at 389.4100 or 446.4526.




John Oppenheimer March 27, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Maybe the MVPD is issuing lots of crime wave warnings due to reduced services due to reduced funding by state and local authorities. The real threat to high home prices is not a high tech bubble, but rather break-ins, burglaries, crime, and fear of crime. Maybe the MVPD should find a way to increase services related to these issues, such as bringing back patrolling. The empty squad cars with speed guns is not that effective.

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