SHALER TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) - Police across the area are reminding residents to lock their cars after seeing an uptick in thefts from vehicles, including several stolen guns.
Thieves have been on the prowl, trying to get into vehicles in the middle of the night in many communities, including Shaler Township where there's been a string of thefts from vehicles in recent weeks.
"In the last several weeks, we've probably had upwards of 20 to 25 occurrences and that's just people who did leave their cars unlocked, they probably tried hundreds of cars. It's not just happening recently, we've had this over the years," said Shaler Township Police Chief Sean Frank.
Frank said two guns were stolen from cars in Shaler recently.
"Carelessness, leaving a gun in a vehicle, whether it's locked or unlocked is something we advise against," said Frank.
These thefts have left some residents feeling uneasy.
"Honestly, it's kind of violating to know people are coming onto and into your property, and it's something we worry about if that were to escalate and break into houses or worse," said Matt Zeglen.
Thieves aren't just stealing from cars in Shaler.
In Kittanning, two kids were arrested for allegedly stealing two guns from vehicles in the past two days, police said Monday.
Also Monday, police in Bethel Park asked for help looking for three suspects who allegedly entered multiple vehicles.
North Huntingdon police posted on Facebook on Monday as well, saying thieves got into many vehicles overnight in the township.
Robinson Township police said they've seen an increase of thieves entering vehicles at night.
Police in Tarentum recently asked for help identifying four people who were allegedly entering vehicles, and Whitehall police said they took several reports of thefts from cars on Thursday.
Last week, White Oak police said thieves got into several unlocked cars and in one incident on Nov. 28, a gun was stolen. A resident shared a ring video with KDKA from that night showing someone getting inside her car, but they didn't take anything. Police believe the person in the video might be one of two involved in the thefts in that area.
Police are reminding residents to lock their doors and keep valuables out of cars. The thieves pull on door handles, and when they find they're locked, they move on, Robinson Township police said.
Shaler police have increased overnight patrols and ask residents to not wait to report incidents.
"If you hear something late at night and it doesn't sound right, call 911, don't wait until morning, don't go out and chase them, call 911. There may be an officer in the area when you make that call," Frank said.
Frank said residents should consider leaving a light on outside their homes to help light up their driveway or street.
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