Open Garage Doors Are Easy Targets

JONESBORO, AR--This summer when you are working in your backyard, your home and possessions could be at risk. While your front door is locked another door is open, welcoming thieves to take anything they want.

Your home is supposed to be a safe place; however as one Jonesboro resident found out this weekend just because you are home, doesn't mean it is secure. While he was doing yard work in the backyard someone was robbing him around front.

"I thought at first it hadn't been stolen because I was there and the garage door was open. I thought a friend down the street had borrowed it," said Jonesboro resident Seth Elder.

After closer inspection, Elder realized his weed eater was gone.

"Then I noticed the generator was missing and I knew I had been robbed," said Elder.

Elder isn't the only one who was robbed over the weekend. The Jonesboro Police Department says at least three people reported the theft of large items like generators, pressure washers, and air compressors from their garages while they were home.

"If I left and went to work and forgot to shut the garage door and I came home and it was cleaned out, I would have thought it was my mistake and I was stupid for doing that, but being at home, never in a million years would I have thought that would happen," said Elder.

On one block alone, we found seven homes out of 28 whose garage doors were up and no one in site. For a number of likely criminals, that's a lot of potential targets.

"I would say 50% percent of the time things are stolen out of your garage when you are home, you just don't know it and don't expect it," said Detective Chad Hoggard of the Jonesboro Police Department.

Hoggard says the number of these crimes usually rise in the spring and summer as more people open their garages with the warm weather. For Elder, both items that were stolen were in plain view, near the front of the garage. According to police, that can be an open invitation.

"Anything that is value to you, don't put it at the front of your garage, put it in the back of your garage, where it can't be seen," said Hoggard.

Elder believes the thieves were probably in and out of his garage in less than a minute. All while he was ten yards away.

"I guess, I consider myself lucky that's all they got," said Elder.

While he no longer has his weed eater and generator, he has learned an eye opening lesson.

"It's just a push of a button, and it's a lot better than having to file insurance claims and all that good stuff," said Elder.

The Jonesboro Police Department recommends writing down the serial numbers on your large items. That way if they recover those items, they will be returned to you.