Garage remote a thief’s ally, police warn residents

Police are putting Brimbank and Melton residents on alert following a series of burglaries during which thieves steal remote controls from cars to burgle garages and, in some instances, houses.

Brimbank proactive policing unit’s Leading Senior Constable Matthew Mudie said offenders were breaking into cars to steal garage remotes then gaining access to properties through internal doors connecting garages to houses.

“Some of them are what we’d call aggravated burglaries, where the people are home when the offender accesses the garage and the house,” he said. “A lot of people leave that door between the garage and house unlocked.

“There’s been a number of instances where offenders have broken into the [home owner’s] car and got the remote to access the garage, and that’s how they gained entry.”

Leading Senior Constable Mudie said police had seen a spike in these kinds of offences over the past month, with thieves striking at all times of the day and night.

He cautioned Brimbank and Melton residents to remove garage remotes from their vehicles, keep the doors between garages and properties locked and, if on holidays, switch off the power to roller doors to ensure they cannot be opened.

Brimbank Inspector Chris Gilbert backed up Leading Senior Constable Mudie’s comments last week, calling on residents to practise vigilance when it came to their cars and properties.

“On many occasions we find that homes have been left unsecured, particularly at night when residents have retired for the night,” Inspector Gilbert said. “I’d like to say there is no problem leaving your house unlocked. But it’s not worth the aggravation of waking to find your valuables gone.

“Most burglars and thieves will prey on your complacency.

“Taking a few simple steps, such as checking doors before you go to bed or keeping valuables in your car boot, will defeat their intent.”