Parking garage thefts, and a unique way to stop them

Posted at 9:41 PM, Jul 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 01:06:03-04

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DENVER -- Many people in Denver pay big money to keep their cars in secured parking garages with the idea that they will be safe overnight. But thieves are finding ways inside and not just taking things from inside cars, but are also taking the cars themselves.

“It was literally as if it had vanished,” Danielle Serban told Denver7 on Wednesday.

She parks in her Denver apartment’s garage, behind a massive metal door, with bars blocking the gaps between walls and windows. Yet someone made their way inside and stole her 2016 Subaru.

“People are getting craftier everyday,” she said.

Her husband was able to locate the car the next day. It was inside another secure parking garage two blocks away. She estimates about $900 worth of items were taken.

Denver Police say there have been 788 garage break-ins so far in 2018. That averages out to more than 77 a month between home garages and parking garages. But a quick search of the website Nextdoor shows multiple posts of people braking into parking garages to steal bikes, items, and even cars.

The usual anti-theft tips from authorities apply here: lock your vehicle, keep valuables out of sight, etc. But in Danielle’s case, police also gave her a suggestion.

“Get The Club,” she said.

The locking steel bar, popular in the early 90s, that prevents the steering wheel from turning.

“I think a ton of people think it’s an antiquated way to prevent an auto theft, but they’ve confirmed it is a deterrent because at the end of the day you can’t steer with that thing on,” Serban said with a laugh.

She bought one at a local store for $40.

“Essentially it comes down to... they would have to take the time to saw through it which isn’t easy,” she said.

The other main point Serban and local police want to send home - keep a watchful eye on who enters a parking garage behind you, or a building, and don’t be afraid to report suspicious activity.