WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) — With each season, it seems there are always new crimes of opportunity to be aware of.

The latest warning comes from the Wake Forest Police Department after a vehicle was stolen from a driveway Friday morning. The car had been left unattended while the windshield was defrosting with the keys inside, police said.

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This theft comes as part of what police say has been a string of crimes that are related, targeting the neighborhoods of St. Catherines, Dansforth and Kitchin Farms.

Investigations are underway in these areas involving a second stolen vehicle that was left unlocked and several overnight break-ins that involved unlocked vehicles and one unlocked garage, police said in a news release.

As police search for possible suspect(s) for these crimes, they are also sending an important reminder.

“As we return to the season of frost and snow, remember to stay with your vehicle while defrosting the windows. Also, be sure to remove your keys from the vehicle and lock the doors to avoid having it stolen,” the release stated.

Police said a vast majority of reported car break-ins and thefts in Wake Forest involve unlocked vehicles. These are typically targeted by thieves who are “car-hopping,” which is when criminals roam neighborhoods at night, pulling on door handles, hoping to find a few unlocked.

Police say it’s a numbers game.

“For every 10 cars a criminal checks, they expect to find at least a couple open, so there is no need to physically break a window or door lock to get in,” the statement said.

So, what’s the number one item to keep out of an unlocked vehicle? Firearms.

According to a study by the U.S. Department of Justice, about four out of five firearms stolen during car break-ins are never recovered. In many cases, these firearms are used in the commission of other crimes.

Anyone in Wake Forest who sees suspicious behaviors or activity is encouraged to call 919-554-6150 or 919-556-9111.