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Suspected thief caught with 30 stolen garage door openers

A 51-year-old Burnaby man is facing numerous charges after police searched his home and found hundreds of stolen items – including 30 garage-door openers.
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Are you missing a garage-door opener? Burnaby RCMP might have it.

A 51-year-old Burnaby man is facing numerous charges after police searched his home and found hundreds of stolen items – including 30 garage-door openers.

 A search warrant turned up 30 stolen garage-door openers at a suspected Burnaby thief's house. Photograph By BURNABY RCMPA search warrant turned up 30 stolen garage-door openers at a suspected Burnaby thief’s house. Photograph By BURNABY RCMP

Police suspect the stolen goods are related to a series of break-ins at garages across North Burnaby in April.

Investigators identified a suspect in that case, executed a search warrant at his home on June 22 and found stolen sports equipment, bikes, tools, 37 GPS units and, of course, the garage remotes.

“The main means of access to these properties was via a garage-door remote control that had been stolen from a vehicle at the residence in the days and weeks preceding the break-and-enter robbery,” stated an RCMP press release.

Michael Thomas Gorval was charged last month with break and enter, mischief, theft and possession of stolen property.

Along with pressing charges, police have seized Gorval’s truck since he allegedly used it to commit his crimes.

The vehicle will be handed over to the province’s civil forfeiture office for disposal if Gorval is convicted.

Efforts are ongoing to reunite the stolen property with its owners.

The incident has prompted police to remind residents to treat garage-door remotes just as they would a house key.

Other tips for keeping garages safe include:

  • Never leave your garage-door remote control in an unoccupied vehicle.
  • Change the factory default settings on your remote to a unique code.-If your residence can be accessed via your garage, ensure doors are secure when you’re not at home.
  • Block out your address on your vehicle registration papers so thieves can’t find your residence if your remote is stolen from your vehicle.
  • If your remote is stolen, unplug it from its main power source immediately.
  • Keep a record of your valuables, including serial numbers and photos.