RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Victims of recent motor vehicle thefts want to remind shoppers to lock their cars and avoid having valuable items in plain sight.

There have been several cases in the past few weeks where mall shoppers or employees at Triangle Town Center went inside, then came out and found their vehicles gone from the parking lot.

Shortly before sunset on Saturday night, Jayquon Hodge and some of his friends went to the food court at the mall.

When Hodge came back outside, he realized someone had taken the two dirt bikes that were locked in the back of his truck.

“I can’t believe someone really stole my dirt bikes in the middle of the mall,” said Hodge.

Numbers from police show there have been three motor vehicle thefts in the mall parking lot since mid-November. That’s compared to zero reported stolen vehicles in the previous six months.

“It’s that time of the year,” said mall shopper Britney Cannon. “People are going to get a little bolder this time of the year.”

Shoppers say it’s a reminder to double check and make sure they’ve locked their cars before they go in.

“I’m very surprised,” said shopper Raj Singh. “I just assume that a mall would be secure with all the lighting and guards and everything.”

As for Hodge, police were about to find his dirt bikes within 24 hours of the theft, but they were significantly damaged.

“I just gotta be more careful about what I bring out there,” said Hodge.

In one of the other two stolen vehicle cases, a mall employee left his car unlocked and the keys inside. It’s not known how the thieves got into the other carWHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON: