Thieves take garage door openers in Hillsborough, steal from quiet community

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s a new hack on an old trend. Thieves are going into unlocked cars and if they don’t see anything of value, they take garage door openers and raid garages.

People describe the Summerfield subdivision as nice and quiet, but when it’s quiet and residents are sleeping, thieves are going into garages and stealing things.

Surveillance video shows a pair of slick criminals going into an unlocked car, getting the garage door opener and then going into a garage in Riverview.

The pair stole a motor bike while the family slept inside.

“Criminals get more and more brazen. The more they do, it becomes easier for them,” said Debbie Carter with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.

Hillsborough County deputies say they’re seeing more and more criminals lurking around homes and sneaking into garages.

“People continue to leave their doors unlocked. They don’t lock their vehicles and the worst part is, people become very secure when they’re in their own driveway,” said Carter.

That’s the case for Lisa Lynschoten. She said she minds her own business and has never had a problem in this neighborhood.

“It’s very quiet. A lot of kids playing in the street and everyone is just friendly,” Lynschoten said.

Deputies say criminals are taking advantage of the friendly environment because residents are not expecting it.

“I was very surprised I said ‘oh my goodness,’ and then ‘Summerfield. Wow, that is really hitting close to home.'”

At her home, she has some security measures to try and protect herself.

“Even if I am at the store it will alert me that someone is on the porch or in my area,” she said.

The problem is, security or no security, people are forgetting the simple things.

“Lock your car doors even if it’s in your driveway,” said Carter.

People in this community got a rude awakening from thieves, but they say they won’t get taken advantage of again.

“Stay away from my home and my neighborhood, because we’re ready for you,” said Lynschoten.

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