FT THOMAS, KY (FOX19) - Ft. Thomas police say they have seen a rash of car thefts since May.
Police spokesperson Lt. Richard Whitford says nine cars have been stolen since May. Typically, he says they see two or three car thefts in a given year.
In each case the driver had left keys inside the vehicle.
Whitford also says they are seeing a number things stolen from inside unlocked vehicles, including small change.
"I've lived here most of my life and it seems like a really safe place," said Ft. Thomas resident Laura Tate. "Our kids run up and down the street and have a good time. You don't really like that feeling that somebody's going through your things."
Tate's SUV was hit just a few weeks ago.
"I was like, 'why is all this stuff out?' cause we were in a hurry to go to school and then I realized all of a sudden what it was so I quickly opened the consol and realized the GPS was missing," she said.
Tate's neighborhood alone was struck twice in one week.
"We have a lot. Almost every night we've been seeing a couple of cars broken into around the city of Fort Thomas, Campbell County, Northern Kentucky," said Lt. Whitford.
Lt. Whitford says they've increased patrols in an effort to deter break-ins.
"It looks to be fueled by drugs. Heroine is now the drug of choice, that's what we're getting in our interviews after we've made our arrests," said Whitford.
Tate is still worried.
"I've got four children. I don't really like to think about the fact that it's hitting that close to home," she said.
Tate's hometown is now even alerting drivers to use common sense with a warning on the town marquee.
"Lock you car. Don't leave your iPod, your iPad, your cell phone, anything that you don't what stolen out in your vehicle," says Lt. Whitford.
Whitford says all thefts were in unlocked cars and all when they were stolen the keys were inside. They're saying more than ever, you've gotta lock-up and look-out.
"The old adage we used to hear was 'we don't want to bug police'. That doesn't happen anymore. Please bug us. Let us know if someone is in your community, if someone's in your neighborhood that doesn't belong," he said.
"I think if everybody in the neighborhoods keep their eyes open, sooner or later we're going to catch them," said Tate.
Whitford says the crimes are occurring mostly in the Ft. Thomas area and surrounding municipalities between 3 and 6 a.m.
Police have added extra patrols to try and catch those responsible. Police are encouraging anyone with any information to call 859-292-3622. Concerned citizens can also contact the Ft. Thomas Police Department to be added onto an e-alert system to be notified when thefts occur.