The Owensboro Police Department is investigating a string of thefts from vehicles that occurred between Monday night and Tuesday morning in the 4700 block of Sydney Lane.

While it’s not always the case, the thefts on Sydney Lane had one thing in common — they involved vehicles that had been left unlocked.

Officials with OPD and the Daviess County Sheriff’s Department said Wednesday that taking the simple steps of locking vehicles and not leaving valuables inside cars and trucks will help prevent them from being targeted.

“A lot of them are thefts of opportunity,” said Maj. Barry Smith, chief deputy for the sheriff’s office. “It’s always important people lock their vehicles up in their driveways.”

Numerous items were taken in the overnight thefts on Sydney Lane, including a handgun, hunting equipment, tools, prescription sunglasses and more than $1,000 in cash.

Officer Andrew Boggess, OPD’s public information officer, said the number of thefts from vehicles is at the same level as this time last year. But reports of people getting into unlocked cars increases in the spring and summer.

“Typically, just as the weather (gets) nicer and people are out more, we’ll have a lot of vehicles overnight” that are entered by thieves, Boggess said. Usually, “they are unlocked vehicles.”

Over the weekend, OPD received a small number of reports of vehicles that were forcibly entered. Boggess said when vehicles are broken into by force, it’s “when something valuable is in sight” for thieves to see.

“If you leave your laptop or purse in sight, that might be something a thief might think is worth busting a window to get to.”

The best course of action is to not leave valuable items in vehicles and make sure vehicle doors are kept locked, Boggess said.

“If you’re in the habit of never leaving things of value in your vehicles, you never have to worry about something being taken,” Boggess said. As for locking doors, “it’s the best theft deterrent, and every vehicle has it, so why not use it?”

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

James Mayse, 270-691-7303, jmayse@messenger-inquirer.com, Twitter: @JamesMayse

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