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Published September 07, 2009, 12:00 AM

Fargo police help solve garage door break-ins with fix

Fargo police say a simple adjustment to electric garage door locks at apartments is helping to reduce break-ins.

By: Mike Nowatzki, INFORUM

Fargo police say a simple adjustment to electric garage door locks at apartments is helping to reduce break-ins.

Police have repeatedly taken reports over the years of burglars popping locks off apartment garages and touching the wires together to open the garage doors, Sgt. Ross Renner said.

A few years ago, “We started looking beyond just taking reports and figuring out a way to stop that, and we did,” he said.

The fix is easy: Inside the garage, the excess wire running to the garage lock is wrapped tightly around a screw in the wall. When the burglar pops the lock and pulls it out, the wires become disconnected, putting them out of reach.

The fix proved effective during the Fargo Police Department’s last two-week reporting period for crime statistics in August, Renner said.

Of 48 attempted garage burglaries in south Fargo in which locks were popped, access was gained to only one garage, he said.

However, where there are multiple garages under the same roof, the fix needs to be applied to all of the garages, he said. Otherwise, if a burglar gains access to one garage, he or she will often climb through the rafters or knock holes through the drywall into adjacent garages, he said.

Police have tried to contact as many apartment landlords as possible about the fix through the department’s safe rental housing program, he said.

Landlords who want assistance with the fix are asked to call police at (701) 235-4493.



Readers can reach Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki at (701) 241-5528

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