Crash-and-grab burglars who ram stolen vehicles through the doors of high-end stores in the middle of the night and quickly grab armloads of merchandise before fleeing are now targeting residential garages. says the Chicago Tribune. One victim told columnist Eric Zorn she went into her alley to find that the roll-up door on her garage had been slammed several feet off its track by thieves who made off with a bicycle, two window air-conditioning units, a power washer and a weed trimmer.
One garage door firm reported getting “more and more” door-replacement calls from residential crash-and-grab victims. Thieves who gained access to one attached garage then broke through a door and burglarized the home. In a spate of retail crash-and-grabs that began last fall, surveillance videos showed brazen hoodlums making off with expensive loot under the impotent gaze of the camera and vamoosing before police could even respond. Retail crash-and-grabs first became common in the mid-1990s in Florida, where department stores reported 600 incidents in three years. Anecdotal reports of residential crash-and-grabs are rare, suggesting that it’s an emerging crime and one that’s difficult to defend given the relative flimsiness of the average garage door.