Proactively protect property from burglars

Author: Jeff Humphrey, KXLY4 Reporter , jeffhu@kxly.com
Published On: Oct 11 2012 06:42:39 PM PDT
craig chamberlin residential burglary prevention
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A rash of daytime burglaries on both sides of the Washington-Idaho state line have police and sheriff's deputies urging homeowners to take more proactive steps to protect their property.

A clever group of burglars is now targeting workplace parking lots so they can get inside your home while you're still here at the office. The scheme involves a garage door opener and that car registration you have in your glove box.

"Absolutely, along with your registration with your home address, what a lot of people have inside their vehicle that they might not think about, is the garage remote opener," Spokane County Sheriff's Deputy Craig Chamberlin said.

So now not only do these individuals have your home address, they also taken your garage door opener which for the majority of people is basically their key into their residence, "and unfortunately most people do not lock their garage door leading into their residence," Chamberlin said.

"A major concern we have is when these folks have prowled enough vehicles they accumulate several garage door openers and now what they'll do is they'll drive down the road trying to find the same code as one they have stolen," he added.

Other burglars, like David Bassford, use their knuckles to decide which homes to burglarize.

"I was drunk and frustrated, just went right past the truck and knocked on the front door of that house," Bassford said during a recent jailhouse interview.

They'll knock on your front door and if you're not there, odds are they're going to come to the side of the house and try to get through your unlocked gate, so if you do have a gate  on the side of your house be sure to lock that gate to avoid having anything like this happen," Chamberlin said.

And as days are getting shorter it means your home is sitting there in the dark while you're still at work.

"If there's anyway you can make it appear that you have someone at home whether it's leaving lights on, leaving a television on, maybe leaving a radio on any type of deterrent that can keep that criminal element away is highly recommended," Chamberlin said.