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Stamford Cops: Man Broke Into Car, Used Garage Door Opener To Gain Access To Home

Word Of Advice In These Trying Times: Lock Your Vehicle, Even In Your Driveway
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Garage door opener

Police in Stamford, Conn., are warning residents to lock up their cars and hide their garage door openers following a harrowing incident on Feb. 20, 2012. (Photo: CBS 2)

STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) — Another suburban burglary spree is targeting cars. What the burglars are finding inside is worth more than money.

When Debbie Tyson got into her unlocked car Monday morning, she realized her CDs had been swiped.

“I noticed that this was gone right away,” Tyson told CBS 2’s Sean Hennessey.

But that’s nothing compared to what happened at another home, where police said Larry Bowman got into an unlocked car parked in the driveway and then used a garage door opener to get inside.

“Checks the cars in the garage, and then goes into the house where people are sleeping,” Stamford Police Capt. Brian McElligott said.

Stamford Police said Bowman’s first daring stop was the bedroom, where two girls were sleeping.

“He rifled through some property there, looking to take whatever he could. The girls never woke up,” McElligott said.

But when Bowman got to the master bedroom, the girls’ mother did wake up.

“She woke up screaming,” Capt. McElligott said.

Husband and wife chased the unarmed 33-year-old out of the house. He was caught by police soon after.

“Just the thought of someone roaming through my house is scary, very scary,” Tyson said.

Scary, but given the garage door opener provided the ultimate crime of opportunity it’s not shocking.

“I’m not surprised someone would take that opportunity. It’s easy for them,” neighbor Stephanie Abbaspour said.

Police said when Bowman was caught, he had already hit four or five other unlocked cars. But they said to head inside at 5:30 in the morning, was a big step in boldness.

“The likelihood of them being home in the house is very high. The likelihood for confrontation really goes up with something like this,” McElligott said.

It was a confrontation that could be avoided with one small step.

“Now I’m going to lock my door, lock my door now,” Tyson said.

It was a lesson the homeowners learned the hard way. The family inside the home didn’t want to talk on camera. Bowman is charged with several counts of burglary.

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