SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Car break-ins in Savannah's Ardsley Park have more than doubled in 2017, alerting police and frustrating those who live there at the same time.
Criminals are preying on the Savannah neighborhood like never before.
"It's happened twice. Once was right after St. Patrick's Day and then again say Saturday, a couple nights later," said Elizabeth Wiseman.
Wiseman found out the hard way these thieves are targeting cars in her neighborhood.
"It's disconcerting to know that someone's been in your property. But it just doesn't seem right that just because we didn't lock it, they had the opportunity to get into it. That shouldn't be a reason for getting broken into," said Wiseman.
Police said most people are just walking the streets and pulling door handles. If they're locked, they'll keep going. If they're unlocked, they'll open them, and that's when they go through them.
"It's an ongoing issue and we're trying to encourage our neighbors to do their best to report any suspicious activity at all, and if you're a victim of any of these crimes, and please report to the police," said Nick Palumbo, the neighborhood association president.
Nothing excuses people going through cars. Police do say you should lock your cars and remove valuables to make yourself a hard target though. Palumbo wants his neighbors being smart when it comes to how they leave their cars.
"If we can all lock our vehicles then the criminals that come through in the middle of the night, and they're jerking on door handles, that if they don't have anything to get then they'll just stop coming," said Palumbo.
"It's basic good sense. I lived in New York City before I moved to Savannah and same thing there. Except more crowds, more people, more risks," said resident Kirk Duffy.
"Well, we're going to make sure we lock it every night. It's constant. It happens a lot. I've had other neighbors say they've had their cars broken into," said Wiseman. "We've found evidence one time of a wallet out in the street."
With another weekend on the way, these decisions could keep you from becoming another victim.
If your car gets broken into, always call the police. Even if nothing is taken. Palumbo is also working to increase participation in neighborhood watch groups to increase the lookout for these criminals.
Here is a better look at the numbers. Ardsley Park saw the biggest jump up to 14 from seven a year ago. Olin Heights also doubling from four to eight in 2017.
These numbers only reflect calls made to police.