NELSON COUNTY, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Nelson County Sheriff's Department says guns could now be in the wrong hands after a series of car break-ins.

Deputies said several people living along Manton Road discovered their cars broken into early Tuesday morning. Two of the three vehicles broken into had guns stolen from inside.

Lt. Kaelen Matthews said the vehicles were left unlocked. One owner thought the vehicle was locked, but police found no sign of forced entry.

Eighteen guns have been stolen from cars in Nelson County so far this year.

"Now that you have a vehicle broken into where a firearm is inside, now we have an armed thief," Matthews said. "So if someone were to come out and approach, they're now armed."

Deputies are reminding people to make sure their firearms are locked up, especially during the holiday shopping season.

"That's when thieves thrive unfortunately," Matthews said. "Us good folks are trying to get gifts, spend times with family, things of that nature, but the thieves see it as a crime of opportunity."

Police do not have any suspects. If you know anything that could help investigators, call the Nelson County Sheriff's Department at (502)348-1840.

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