Seattle Police Department crime trend data show a significant increase in the number of burglaries that take place in secure parking garages in apartments and condominiums.
According to SPD, in the majority of these crimes, burglars did not need to force their way into the garage but piggybacked in through the pedestrian door or followed a car into the garage. In addition to prowling cars, bicycles and storage unites are also targeted.
Here are some tips for preventing these types of crimes.
- Secure garages are only secure if entering and exiting drivers watch the door fully close behind them every time.
- Before entering or exiting a garage, look around to determine if anyone is hanging out near the entrance. Pay attention to them and let them know they’ve been seen.
- Remote controls for secure garages should never be left inside parked cars. They provide future access to returning thieves.
- Remove all valuables from your vehicle every time you park.
- Disable internal trunk releases per your owner’s manual instructions.
- Audible alarms or other theft deterrent devices can be effective.
- Invest in heavy-duty locks for your storage unit and/or bicycle. Burglars often bring bolt cutters.
- Share information about incidents and suspicious activities with your neighbors.
- Report all crimes and suspicious activities to 911 immediately.