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Posted: 10:13 p.m. Thursday, March 7, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO —
Police are putting plainclothes officers into one San Francisco's neighborhoods to try and catch thieves who are breaking into cars and using garage-door openers to break into homes. Police said thieves are stealing garage-door openers from cars parked in Bernal Heights and using them to break into homes. Garden designer James Pendle said he leaves his garage-door opener in his vehicle that's parked outside his home. He said he's aware of the break-ins. "I should probably hide it in the glove box or put it under the seat. I was just thinking about it the other day," Pendle said. But police said the garage-door opener should not be left anywhere inside a vehicle if it's parked outside. Investigators said in just the past two weeks, there's been a handful of burglaries where thieves stole a garage-door opener from a car and used it to gain entry. "A couple of them were in the driveway and others right in front," said San Francisco police Capt. Tim Falvey "They just push the button and see which garage door opens." Police said so far the thieves have stolen bicycles and other items in garages, but the thieves have not gone further into the homes. Residents said many people use their garages for storage and park their cars outside, which could make them easier targets. Homeowner John Webster said thieves broke into his home when he left his garage door partially open. "The house was broken into through the garage," Webster said. His garage is not operated by remote control. Still, he said the break-ins are unsettling. "Yeah, it's worrying, but I guess it can happen anywhere," Webster said. Police told KTVU they're placing these flyers with safety tips on the windshields of cars. They said leaving a garage-door opener in your vehicle is like handing your house keys to thieves.
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