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By Jamie Baker-Nantz

What began as a few isolated incidents of items being removed from unlocked cars has turned into dozens of thefts from all over the county.

Williamstown Assistant Police Chief Chris Hankins received several complaints a couple of weeks ago of items being removed from cars parked on residential streets in Williamstown.

“We’ve seen both vehicles hit that were locked and unlocked,” Hankins said.

Windows were smashed on the vehicles that were locked.

Last weekend in Dry Ridge, police were alerted to vehicle break ins on Taft Highway, Wilorn Drive and in Lexington Trails Subdivision.

In Lexington Trails, the break ins occurred after midnight on Oct. 10.

“None were forced entry,” said Grant County Sheriff Chuck Dills.

Two of the items taken included a handgun and a lap top valued at $1,800.

From Oct. 8 through Oct. 10, four vehicles on Taft Highway and five on Wilorn Drive were targeted. Thieves made off with GPS units, hand tools and a paint sprayer.

“Don’t put or leave anything of value in your vehicle. It’s just always a good idea to secure your vehicle,” said Dry Ridge Police Chief Rick Kells.

Dills and Kells said they believe juveniles could be the culprits.

They are hoping that someone with a home security system in the area may have captured something on video.

“We need help in solving this,” said Dills. “If the thieves are at a location and an officer drives by, they could easily hide behind something and we wouldn’t see them. I’m hoping someone saw something and will step forward.”

Kells said that the simple act of locking your vehicle could be enough of a deterrent to would-be thieves.

“It’s always a good idea to secure your vehicle because if it’s harder for them to get to, they’ll probably pass it up,” Kells said.

“We are warning everyone to secure their property and make sure their vehicles are locked even if they are sitting in your driveway,” said Dills.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Dills at 859-824-3333 or Hankins at 859-824-6351 or Kells at 859-428-1212.