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Business and the Economy

Thefts from Garages on the Rise in Springfield

Ben Babcock; Flickr
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The Springfield Police Department is encouraging residents to close their garage doors even if they’re going to be gone for a short time. According to the department, a common form of burglary during the summer months occurs when thieves enter open garage doors, and there’s been an increase recently in this type of criminal behavior.

Sergeant David Meyer, with the Springfield Police Department’s Property Crimes Unit, says they’ve been seeing burglaries that occur when people forget to close their garage doors at night or when people leave them open while outside in their back yard. He says many people assume their belongings are safe since they’re at home, but that’s not always the case.

"Unfortunately, it only takes a second to grab something out of a garage and take off. The gall of criminals is pretty high, so," he said.

According to the Springfield Police Department, you should make sure the door leading from the garage into your home has a locking mechanism; cover any garage windows so thieves won’t know when you’re away; consider purchasing a garage door open indicator, which lets you know when the garage door has been left open. And record serial numbers of items of value kept in your garage. And Meyer says you should also be a good neighbor.

"If you see suspicious vehicles in the area don't hesitate to call the police to have them checked on or copy down license plates or things like that or to ask questions. You know, we've had some people stop thefts because they know a vehicle's not supposed to be at a particular neighbor's house, and they'll ask questions and scare someone off," he said.

You can also let neighbors know if they’ve accidentally left their garage open.

Meyer says you should keep vehicle doors locked even if they’re in your driveway because some thieves will take garage door openers and use them later to get into the house.