HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — Automatic garage door openers are a staple of suburban life, but police urge users to be careful about where they leave them.

Twice in the past week, Hauppauge residents left the remotes in unlocked cars, and thieves entered their homes as they slept.

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As CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported, Marie and Tony DiGangi won’t make that mistake again. They left their car unlocked in their Dale Court driveway with the garage remote inside. That gave a thief access to their home while they slept, because the door to their home inside the garage was also left unlocked.

“We don’t lock it, you know you get complacent because you don’t think anything will happen, and now you learned the hard way,” Marie said.

It was 3:30 a.m. Thursday, when a would-be thief was scared away before he could take anything because Marie woke up.

Down the block surveillance video recorded a hooded man going driveway to driveway looking for open car doors.

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Suffolk Police said he struck earlier in the week on Janet Court, getting away with cash as a family of four slept upstairs.

The garage door remote was lifted from an unlocked car, and the inside door was unlocked.

“Urge the public, don’t leave your car unlocked. If you have a garage door opener keep that out of view, and certainly make sure your secondary door, the door leading from your garage to your home is locked at all times,” Suffolk Police Commissioner Timothy Sini said.

Neighbors said the days of leaving cars unlocked and garage openers in view are over.

“Unfortunate, but you shouldn’t have to worry about that stuff in your neighborhood,” Brianne Stevens said.

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A lesson learned the hard way.