NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro police are seeing a growing trend in West Nashville – thieves targeting unlocked cars and, in some instances, getting away with thousands of dollars in valuables.

“We’re not seeing a lot of broken windows,” said Sgt. John Bourque of MNPD’s West Precinct. “They are getting inside unlocked cars and taking whatever is of value.”

Investigators say the suspects operate in small groups and pick their target neighborhoods at random.

“They will come out to the suburbs of West Precinct and, generally, one person will drive the car. Others that are passengers in that car will get out and walk along, and go into all the driveways and pull on door handles,” said Bourque.

The suspects have gotten away with things like computers, cash, jewelry and even firearms.

“Uneasy,” said Kathy McConnell, whose next door neighbor’s car was stolen two years ago. “There’s a lot of cars outside. People don’t park in their garages, and I think it just makes it easy for them.”

Police are encouraging vehicle owners to always lock their cars and remove any items of value, or items that can be seen.

“Look, we still live in a society [where] there is crime. We don’t live in a crime-free society,” said Sharon West, who lives in the Boone Trace subdivision. “So, if you don’t want your car burglarized, and you don’t want an increase in that, lock your cars, lock your home.”

City-wide, MNPD reports 71 percent of the automobiles stolen last week were easy targets.