LANCASTER, Pa. — Manheim Township Police are investigating a series of vehicle thefts that occurred over the weekend in Lancaster Township.
The incidents are the latest in a series of similar crimes that have occurred in the same area since the beginning of the month, police say.
The Manheim Township Police Department issued a statement on Friday reporting about the increase in vehicle thefts. On Saturday and Sunday, the department received reports of four additional vehicle thefts in the same area.
In most of the cases, police say, the vehicles were left unlocked with spare keys left inside or easily accessible in a nearby location.
One of the incidents over the weekend was captured on a home surveillance system, police say. Two male suspects can be seen taking the vehicle, according to police.
Three of the four stolen vehicles over the weekend were recovered, police say. As with similar incidents earlier this month, investigators believe the vehicles are being used for "joy rides" and not to be dismantled for parts.
Also over the weekend, four other vehicles were broken into and had items stolen from inside in the same area of Lancaster Township, according to police. As was the case with the other alleged thefts, the vehicles were left unlocked with valuables inside, police say.
Residents are reminded that these crimes can be prevented if residents lock their cars and take the keys with them when the vehicles are not in use, police say.
Police also report that on the east side of Lancaster Township over the weekend, a total of 24 vehicles had their tires slashed -- resulting in more than $5,400 worth of damage. Through the use of home surveillance systems and eyewitnesses, police say, officers were able to determine that several juveniles were seen in the area during the time of the alleged vandalism.
Police are asking residents to stay vigilant, keep outside lights on at night, and report any suspicious activity as it occurs to police. This increases the changes of persons being intercepted and crimes being solved, police say.
Residents are strongly encouraged to install home surveillance devices like Ring doorbell cameras in an effort to thwart potential criminal activity, according to police.