BROOMFIELD, Colo. (CBS4)– Police in Broomfield are on a mission to help keep homeowners from getting ripped off. Investigators believe 70 percent of all home burglary cases, the thieves get in through an open garage door.

“The open garage doors… yeah, it’s a daily occurrence,” said Broomfield Police Officer Larry Ottosen.

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Ottosen cruised the neighborhoods looking for one very specific problem– open garage doors.

Broomfield Police Officer Larry Ottosen (credit: CBS)

Broomfield Police Officer Larry Ottosen (credit: CBS)

“They’ve got some stuff in there that would be easy pickens for a burglar,” said Ottosen.

Ottosen said open garages are an invitation to thieves looking for an opportunity to steal from the garage and gain access to the home.

“Ours is open a lot but my husband is usually out there,” said Broomfield resident Kim, who didn’t want to give her last name.

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Ottosen will find an open garage door and alert the residents.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I was just driving through the neighborhood and noticed your garage door was open. We’ve been experiencing a number of burglaries,” said Ottosen. “It only takes a few seconds.”

Police said 20 seconds id enough time to grab a bicycle or tools. Ottosen knows first hand what it’s like to be a victim of theft from a crime of opportunity.

“I went to mow my lawn and I thought my wife had moved my lawn mower on me and it turns out one of us had left the garage door open and someone had helped themselves to my lawnmower,” said Ottosen.

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Ottosen said it’s not illegal to leave garage doors open, it’s unwise.