Here's how to protect your garage from thieves this summer

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jun 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-16 06:48:21-04

CINCINNATI -- Did you know that burglars can sneak into your home even when you've locked your doors? They don't even need to break a window.

According to Cincinnati Sergeant Eric Franz, garage burglaries are low-risk, high-reward -- a dive can yield chainsaws, cars, bicycles and lawn mowers, among other machines and items too big to store inside a home. (We're not the only ones with slightly messy garages, right?)

Sgt. Franz added it doesn't take much for criminals to get inside. 

If you have an electronic punch-code lock, you can keep yourself safe by cleaning the pad frequently -- if it only has a few clean numbers and the rest are dusty with disuse, it's not hard to start guessing a code. 

You should also make sure the code isn't something a person could learn just by looking at your home or having a little information about you. Although four digits of your phone number or house number are easy to remember, they're also highly accessible. 

If you don't have an electronic lock, Franz still has advice. For one thing, cut the T-handle from your emergency release garage door opener. 

"Over the years, an old fireman's trick has gotten out," Franz said. "Cut it off with a pair of scissors, tie a knot in it, and you're going to defeat anyone who's trying to break into your garage."

Another tip: Don't leave your key in your car, even if your garage door is closed and you're at home.

"Once somebody gets in, your most valuable item in the garage gets stolen," he said. "It happens a lot."