Because burglars would love to steal your riding lawnmower

WinkIvy says:

Every once in awhile I read a post where I go, “Whoa, I didn’t know that.” and then want to shout the info from the highest mountain. Since I’m in the Cumberland Basin, I actually live pretty far from a mountain, so Home-Ec 101 will have to do for my shouting.

Paul Michael at Wise Bread has an article about how your garage door opener keypad can be easily figured out by burglars:

Like most people with a garage door, I had the garage door keypad fitted. It seemed like a handy thing to have and I’ve used it countless times. With almost 10,000 possible combinations, I felt that it was a safe bet and no burglar would take the time to crack that code. But that safety is a façade. My contact in the Aurora Police Department, here in Colorado, recounted his conversation with the crook.

“He explained that skin, particularly fingertips, emit oils on the keypads when the code is punched in; e.g. 1-4-5-6. He said that other keys on the pads that are never used become dirty with wind, rain and dust. Using a flashlight with a blue or red lens, or even using angles in daylight hours, you can see where the 1-4-5-6 numbers appear clean and/or shiny with use.

Once he could determine the four most used or clean numbers he could “crack” the code in a few minutes or less, leaving no signs of forced entry.”

Whoa. Scary stuff. But wait! There’s more! Paul has another way burglars can get in, and how to thwart them. Go on over and check it out.


  1. Margo on September 20, 2007 at 7:02 pm

    sheesh. Good (or nefarious!) thinking. I’ll warn my inlaws who’ve got one.

  2. kristen on September 19, 2007 at 3:13 pm

    You know, that is actually very good information. We have had some burglaries in our area and I have one of those keypads.

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