Indiana Car Burglaries Highlight Importance of Garage Door Security, Police Say

garageburglaryDuring winter, it’s common for drivers to leave their cars unlocked and running in the garage to warm up in the morning. But police in Fishers, IN, have warned residents that this isn’t as safe as they might think. Three burglaries of unlocked cars left in garages occurred only a few miles apart on one morning earlier this month.

“Criminals look for victims that are distracted, and the cold is a distraction. People are hurrying. They’re not thinking,” Fishers Police Sgt. Tom Weger told the local Fox affiliate.

In two of the cases, the suspect simply rolled under a cracked garage door to gain access, stealing items — including a GPS device — from vehicles.

Neighbors in the affected area commented that they all assumed that a mostly closed garage door would provide adequate protection. But not only do partially open doors leave garages and homes vulnerable, some older garages without automatic openers are left unlocked much of the time.

Police can’t be sure that all three thefts are connected. But regardless, officials say, it’s important that drivers keep their cars locked, be aware of garage door security and not give in to a false sense of protection.

The Value of Replacing Garage Doors
Homeowners wanting to replace their garage doors due to security concerns have some financial incentives as well. According to the magazine Remodeling, replacing a garage door can significantly increase the value of a home.

The magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value survey, conducted in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors, found that replacing a mid-range door with an upscale one yielded an 82.5% return on investment, making it the second-best investment in the upscale remodeling category. In the mid-range category, the figures were even better: an 88.4% return for replacing a basic garage door with a mid-level one.

The upfront cost of such a project is also far lower than other home improvement projects undertaken to increase property value. The average cost to replace a mid-range garage door is $1,595, contrasting sharply with projects like a kitchen remodel ($56,758, on average) or the addition of a family room ($84,201).

“Being aware of your surroundings in and out of your garage, can prove to be key in preventing theft and damaged property,” says Phil Cabral, President of Sunwest Garage Door Inc. “An upgraded garage door, such as an insulated door, can help to prevent the extreme temperatures in the garage associated with the winter months. Garage door manufacturers have a variety of insulated door options that incorporate polyurethane insulation, which provides a greater R-value to that of the polystyrene insulated doors of the past.”

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