Police in Peel Region are warning homeowners to take precautions after a series of break-ins where robbers used stolen remote control garage door openers to get inside people’s houses.

There have been at least 42 break-ins over the last few months in Mississauga and Brampton with a similar pattern, police say.

It starts with someone breaking into a vehicle and stealing the garage door remote control. The thieves return when no one is home and use the device to enter the garage. If the door leading to the home is unlocked, it can be easy to get inside.

One Peel Region resident says the recent reports of break-ins have been concerning.

"It makes me very, very nervous, and I’ve been hearing a lot more lately. I hear there's people going around with flashlights at night checking out the houses," said Karen Renton.

Another neighbour says she thinks someone recently tried to break into her car.

“I just changed my [locks],” said Gorika Kovic. “It was pushed in. Somebody tried to rob.”

Police are advising people to keep doors that lead into their homes from the garage locked.

Some garage door experts say that while newer systems are more secure, any system older than 1993 may share frequencies with other remote control devices and should be updated.