ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Elizabethtown Police Department is investigating more than a dozen car break-ins since Saturday.

Officer John Thomas said they've seen almost 10 vehicle break-ins and three stolen vehicles in just one night. And on top of that, there have been at least five more car break-ins reported since the weekend. So the department is warning everyone to take a minute and double check your car doors are locked.

“The three vehicles that were stolen, unfortunately, were left unlocked with the keys inside the vehicle,” Thomas said. “This is obviously setting yourself up to be a victim of a crime.”

Thomas said in more than 90 percent of all car break-ins last year in Elizabethtown, the cars were unlocked. Thomas said that aside from locking your vehicles, the best piece of advice is to not leave valuables inside or in plain view.

“Even if you were to forget to lock your vehicle, if there’s nothing of value inside your vehicle, then there’s nothing for the thief to take," he said.

And Thomas said never leave any guns inside a vehicle unattended.

“We had almost 20 guns stolen again from unlocked vehicles last year,” Thomas said. “And unfortunately, one of these firearms was used in a homicide.”

Elizabethtown Police charged Austen Green with shooting and killing a man right before Christmas last year behind Peddlers Mall. Thomas said the gun used in the crime traced back to a local car break-in.

“So what we ask folks is if you’re going to store a firearm in a glove box or console, please remember to take it with you. Don’t leave it in an unsecured vehicle,” he said.

Thomas said other guns stolen from other unlocked vehicles have been traced to gang crime in large cities as far away as Detroit. He added that there is usually a correlation between a spike in car break-ins and when children are out of school for spring and summer breaks.

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