Central Marin Police release statement regarding recent garage thefts

Cameryn Smith

On Jan. 18, the Central Marin Police (CMP) released an official warning about recent garage break-ins. The statement mentioned an increase in “the theft of high-end bicycles from residential garages.”  The statement also described that the burglary methods have followed a pattern. “A small hole is broken in the window glass and an improvised tool (long metal rod with hook end) is used to defeat the closed/locked garage door by pulling down the emergency garage door pull cord.”

The official statement that the CMP released on Jan. 18, regarding the recent burglaries. (Photo courtesy of NextDoor)

For senior Tawny Strotz, a resident in Tiburon, burglars stole one mountain bike along with two regular bikes and the family’s safe on Jan. 16. Although Strotz was not in town at the time, her dad was in the house and did not hear the incident occur. Following this incident, the Strotz family plans on enhancing their security measures.

“I think this [burglary] is definitely a wake up call. We need to make sure that we’re being more precautious and always locking our cars … because it’s not something I used to think about,” Strotz said.

The lever that the burglars used to open the garage was left broken after a burglary attempt. (Photo courtesy of Jed Ritchey)

CMP captain Hamid Khalili suggested a stream of ways to prevent a break-in. This consists of blocking the glass garage window, making sure the emergency garage handle cannot be accessed, installing security cameras and keeping a watchful eye. Khalili also mentioned the burglars to some extent what to watch out for.

“Cargo style vehicles [vans and SUVs] are utilized to steal and conceal multiple high-end bikes. These vehicles have been seen slowly driving by and casing neighborhoods,” Kahlili said in a statement released by the CMP via Nextdoor.

According to Crime grade, an online website used for calculating the crime rates in different U.S cities, the crime rate for Marin County is about 3.28 per 1000 residents each year. This equates to averages similar to 50 percent of the country’s cities.

Senior Will Hartung’s house was robbed the same morning as Strotz’s was. Strotz and Hartung live a block away from each other, and both believe their break-ins occurred between 4 a.m and 5 a.m. Hartung’s mountain bikes were stolen, and the burglars left the tools they used to crack the glass laying in the garage. Though Hartung had heard of these previous incidents in the community and knew the importance of caution, his garage still got broken into because there isn’t much else citizens can do.

Two burglars attempt to break into a garage caught on a home’s security footage. (Photo courtesy of KRON4 News)

“We [my family] definitely had been aware of [the burglaries]. … My bike’s always locked in the garage … but there’s not much you can do to prevent it besides cameras,” Hartung said.  

Like Hartung, it is essential to be cautious and to keep a watchful eye, especially for those just hearing about these events. In the meantime, all we can do as a community is hope that the crimes will come to a stop.