Abbotsford Police are warning drivers to avoid leaving their garage door openers in their vehicles, following a series of thefts this week.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the first occurred on Sunday to an 81-year-old woman, who was attending church in the 32000 block of Mill Lake Road.
She returned to her vehicle after the service and found her passenger door pried open and the garage door opener missing from the visor.
The woman returned home and found that the residence had been ransacked and valuables were missing, including a TV.
“The place was completely ransacked. They (the thieves) had gone through all the drawers in her suite,” MacDonald said.
He said the culprits likely identified her address by the insurance documents left in her vehicle and, knowing she was at church, used that time to break into her home.
The next theft was reported on Monday at about 11 a.m. A 20-year-old man went to the underground parking lot of his condo complex, located in the 33600 block of King Road.
The passenger window to his vehicle was smashed, and the opener to the underground garage was taken. He did not have any valuables in the car.
At 4:45 p.m. that day, a 19-year-old man went to the same parking lot and discovered that his car had been broken into. Snowboarding and stereo equipment, worth several hundred dollars, had been stolen.
MacDonald said it’s likely that the thief who stole the garage opener from the first vehicle used the device later that day to obtain access to the underground area and commit the second theft.
MacDonald reminded drivers to ensure they take their valuables with them when they leave their vehicles.
“Your garage door opener is equivalent to a key to your home,” he said.