Police are warning residents not to leave garage door openers in their vehicles after two of the devices were stolen and used to break into homes in Nanaimo this week. CHRIS BUSH/The News Bulletin

Stolen garage door openers lead to Nanaimo break-ins

Garage door controllers left in vehicles were stolen and used to access homes in north Nanaimo

Police in Nanaimo are warning residents not to leave garage door openers in their vehicles.

According to Nanaimo RCMP, within the past week thieves used garage door openers to break into two north Nanaimo homes Monday and Tuesday on Tweedsmuir Crescent and Ocean Walk Drive. The devices had been left in unlocked vehicles. In the Tweedsmuir Crescent incident, the garage door opener was taken from the homeowner’s Nissan pickup parked in the driveway. A tote of electronic gear, drum machine and a laptop computer were taken. The family dog, which was in the garage at the time, didn’t bark. The garage door opener was found later that day on a neighbour’s lawn.

On Ocean Walk Drive, thieves entered the garage the same way and rummaged through a vehicle parked inside. They took two backpacks containing emergency preparedness supplies and a GPS unit. A neighbour found most of the emergency supplies spread out on a lawn, but the backpacks were gone.

Police advise that vehicle owners can lower the risk of theft by always locking vehicles, removing all valuables and taking their garage door openers with them when vehicles are left unattended.

Anyone with information about these crimes is asked to call the Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com or call 1-800-222-8477.

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