That's the message that city of Brookfield police have sent out to the community after a recent spate of overnight vehicle thefts.

"The city of Brookfield Police Department is asking all citizens to park their vehicles in their locked garages at night if at all possible," the warning read. "If vehicles need to be left outside please lock them in their driveways."

Police say in the past month seven vehicles have been stolen from driveways or open garages and that other surrounding communities have experienced similar crimes.

At least two of those crimes have occurred since the calendar switched over to May. A vehicle was stolen from inside a garage in the 3800 block of Lone Elm Drive during the night of May 1 or early morning hours of May 2. Another was stolen from the 4100 block of Clare Bridge Lane during the same time frame. In both instances, the keys had been left in the vehicles.

Most recently, two vehicles were stolen during the night of May 7 or early morning hours of May 8 including a Lexus containing $4,000 worth of golf clubs.

Because of that, the department specifically advises residents not to leave any keys in any vehicles and requests that exterior lights be left on during hours of darkness. Residents are also advised not to leave vehicles running in driveways during the early-morning hours.

Vehicle thefts appear to be occurring between midnight and 5:30 a.m.

Police have also responded to a number of vehicle break-ins in recent weeks with victims reporting that their cars were only rummaged through or broken into, but nothing was taken.

"They're finding unlocked cars, they're entering them and they're looking for keys and if they're not finding the keys they're moving on to the next one," Captain Phil Horter said.

Horter also noted that the thefts are likely not being committed by just one group, but that the crimes are a large trend throughout the southeastern Wisconsin area.

Suspicious activity should be reported to city of Brookfield police immediately at 262-787-3700 or 911.

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