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The Fishers Police Department has received from six to eight reports of vehicle break-ins in recent days where thieves have stolen garage door openers and entered residents’ garages.

Fishers police Sgt. Tom Weger said the incidents occurred in the Masthead neighborhood near 106th Street and Geist Road. He said criminals have opened the doors of unlocked cars sitting in driveways, used the remote garage door opener to gain access to the garage, and stolen items from other cars inside the garage. Weger said the criminals have not gotten access to homes.

“Just by simply locking your doors, you can prevent becoming a victim of a crime,” said Weger, noting that residents who follow the so-called 9 p.m. routine have made it a daily habit to make sure their homes and vehicles are locked before turning in for the night.

Weger also recommended residents turn on exterior home lights and take valuables out of their cars, including the garage door opener.

“What we’re asking people to do is help reduce the theft from vehicles that happen in Fishers from time to time,” he said. “Along with the valuables we want you take out of the car, we want you to include the garage door opener.”

In one theft instance this week, Fishers police said the suspect escaped the crime scene by relying on the kindness of Fishers neighbors.

“In this particular situation the resident unknowingly gave a ride to one of the suspects and transported him out of the area as we were in route to the area to try to locate the suspects,” Weger said.

As for how to prevent that, he urged common sense.

“We narrowly avoided a tragedy,” Weger said. “Good people have a natural tendency to help other people, but we can’t let our natural tendencies cloud our good judgment. And, so, we need common sense to prevail in these types of situations.”

Susan Lew, homeowners association president in the Geist Harbor area, said she was shocked and saddened to hear of the vehicle break-ins.

“Locking the car doors is a huge deterrent to criminal activity and one that we cant stress enough,” Lew said.

She noted the neighborhoods in the area have the added protection of a private security company, Geist Patrol, to keep homes safe, but said safety begins with homeowners.

“That’s all of our responsibility to be vigilant,” she said. “We don’t want our residents to feel alarmed. We just want them to take good precautionary measures to prevent any crime from happening.”

If you have a built-in garage door opener in your vehicle and it works even when the car is off, Weger recommended you disengage the garage door opener inside the garage.

Fishers police can answer safety questions or take any information about the recent vehicle break-ins at 317-595-3300.