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Either a homeowner realizes too late that his garage door opener remote is missing, or they wake up to find that a prowler used a stolen garage door opener to break into her home while she and her family slept. It’s the former scenario that was reported recently in Denver, Colorado, where one woman noticed that her garage door opener remote was missing most likely very soon after it was stolen.

“The next day my husband goes, ‘Honey, where is the garage door opener? Did you take it out of the car?’ I said, ‘No. It should be where we keep it in the car’ and he said, ‘Well, it’s not there,’” Bonnie Robinson told the Denver reporter on the scene. Bonnie was able to change the garage door opener remote before its thieves returned to ransack her home. She was lucky. Others have fallen victim to home break-ins and robberies that would never have happened were it not for someone casually leaving their garage door opener remote in plain sight in an unlocked car (or stashed away in the glove compartment, for that matter).

Many homeowners are even purchasing all new garage door opening systems as a safeguard against theft. If your garage door opener was manufactured before 2003, the local Denver Fox affiliate reports, thieves don’t even need the garage door opener remote to break in. With those older models of garage door openers, they just intercept the radio signal that the garage door opener transmits with a device called a code grabber.

“We had to adapt the industry to fit the crime,” said Mario Riggio with Overhead Door Company of Denver. Newer garage door openers use rolling codes that change every time you use them. “4.3 billion codes before it will ever repeat itself,” said Riggio

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