DENVER -- A coat hanger and a matter or seconds may be all a criminal needs to break into your garage.
The Southeast Denver Neighborhood Watch is hearing about break-ins where thieves are able to thread a piece of metal, like a hanger, over the top of the door and unlatch it.
"Bikes have been stolen, cars have been broken into within the garage, especially tools or anything, very expensive bikes," said Darcie Barlow, with Southeast Denver Neighborhood Watch.
See how easy it is to break into a garage by watching this video:
Your garage door is essentially a gateway to your home, but there's several solutions to prevent this kind of break-in. Barlow used a zip tie to lock the disengaging arm on her door.
"It's so simple, all you do is you take a standard zip tie and just wrap it around where it connects," said Barlow.
Denver7 asked the experts at One Clear Choice Garage Doors what they recommend.
- Buy a SecureShield to install over the mechanism. This metal box will prevent criminals from hooking the arm and unlocking the door. It runs $35 without installation.
- Automatic dead bolts for your garage door. This solution is more pricey but it prevents the door from being opened and is much more secure. A side mount garage door opener with automatic dead bolts will set you back $509.
Residents in Wash Park are taking other security precautions too. Barlow installed a surveillance camera by her garage door and flood lights triggered by a motion sensor.
She also encourages residents to get involved in their local neighborhood watch group or start their own by reaching out to their local community resource police officer.