GREENWOOD, Ind. — Greenwood police are asking residents to think twice before leaving their garage doors open, even while they’re at home.
A recent post on the department’s Facebook page sent out this warning:
“It is that time of year again when you are in your backyard working; please keep your garage door closed when you’re not out in front of your house. We are getting reports of thefts from garages.”
Some of the incidents include items stolen from garages, while others included thefts or burglaries involving suspects gaining access through open garages.
In one recent case, a homeowner in the 1000 block of Burning Bush Drive told police somebody had stolen a power washer out of his garage. The man told officers the burglary happened while he was in his house. But his garage door had been left up, and he never heard a thing.
“It was a little bit disturbing,” said Steve Saxton, who lives next door. “Because I do work from the house and I’m here probably 95 percent of the time. So it probably happened while I was here.”
“It was probably somebody local that was just walking by or driving by and said that can be taken in less than ten seconds and they did it,” Saxton said.
Last week, a woman on Frostwood Lane told police somebody had stolen her garage door opener from her unlocked vehicle. She said several valuable items in the car had been left untouched, but the door opener was gone. Fearing the suspect would come back to access the garage, the victim deactivated her door opener and activated the manual lock.
While thefts and burglaries from garages are nothing new, Greenwood police officials say this is the time of year when many homeowners will be outside working in their lawns, leaving garage doors up after keeping them closed through the winter. A fast-moving thief can snatch up tools or other valuables from a garage in a matter of seconds without alerting victims inside a house or in the back yard.
“It’s always disturbing that we’ve got to live buttoned up like we do,” Saxton said. “We can’t enjoy the outside around our own house like we used to.”
Dane Lester, who also lives on Burning Bush Drive said he worries about the potential for violence if a homeowner catches a burglar in the act.
“And I guarantee in this neighborhood you’ll find probably 95-percent of them packing, myself included,” Lester said. “You know, when it comes to protecting me and my family, there’s not much we wouldn’t do.”