Thieves Take Advantage Of Open Garage Doors

Thursday, September 27th 2007, 8:48 pm
By: News On 6

There’s a burglary boom in Tulsa County. There have been about 20 burglaries in the past two months in Tulsa and Broken Arrow. Each time the MO is similar and all are completely preventable. News On 6 crime reporter Lori Fullbright reports the burglars are taking advantage of open garage doors.

People get home in the evening, pull into the driveway and go inside, leaving their garage door open, the car doors unlocked and their purse or wallet sitting in the car. That’s when the burglars walk in, grab it and go.

Shari Singleton is still ticked about what happened to her recently. She lives in a gated community in South Tulsa. She had her garage door open while she was mowing her yard on a Sunday afternoon and someone went into her garage, opened her car door and took her wallet right out of her purse. She didn't even know it was missing until the next day at work.

"I was absolutely furious because I feel like I should be safe in my own home, my own yard, and to think someone would steal from me right here is just incredible," burglary victim Shari Singleton said.

Police say someone is doing this same crime over and over in South Tulsa and Broken Arrow.

Just driving around, we saw several garage doors up in the evening. Either people forget to put them down or feel safe, since they are right inside. But that's a mistake.

"If your garage door is open chances are you haven't locked the door to your house,” said Sergeant Greg Matthews of the Burglary Squad. “We've had one or two go into the house. Just because your car is in the garage, doesn't mean it's safe."

To prevent this, don't leave anything valuable in your car, lock the door between the garage and the house and make sure everyone in the family knows to keep the garage door down at all times.

Shari had to replace her driver's license, social security card and contact her credit card companies, but the charges keep coming.

"They have been to gas stations, Barnes and Noble, Best Buy. Some charges are as little as a $1.40 for a Coke and as high as $540 something," Singleton said.

Another safety tip to avoid being burglarized is to put your garage door down before you get out of your vehicle, with your windows up and doors locked. That way, if anyone sneaks in, you're not trapped with them and you're still in a safe place and can get away safely.

Watch the video: Burglars Targeting Open Garages