Area police departments are warning residents to lock their cars after a rash of recent break-ins and outright car thefts.

According to the News-Times, residents in Danbury, Newtown, Brookfield, Bethel, Redding and Middlebury have all had to deal with a recent string of break-ins and thefts.

In most cases, police say they thieves are looking for anything of value that they can steal quickly, including briefcases, laptops, and GPS devices.

In some cases, unlocked cars with the keys left inside were stolen themselves.  Two cars were stolen from the same Newtown neighborhood in the last month, and both were recovered in Waterbury.  Bethel police have seen cars stolen and later returned.

While police think that the thieves should be identified and caught soon, common sense is urged. If valuables are left in an unlocked vehicle they can be very easy to steal, and these thieves are taking advantage of the opportunity. It does not take long to open an unlocked car and grab whatever is in plain sight.  So, take caution, throw the GPS in the glove compartment, laptop in the trunk, and lock your car doors! You've been warned.