The Augusta Police Department is warning residents that someone is stealing cars and to take precautions to protect themselves.

Usually, this time of year, we're issuing warnings about the theft of items that are being taken out of cars. But the Augusta PD is dealing with something considerably more serious.

Lieutenant Kevin Lully said in a media release that the department is investigating a rash of vehicle thefts citywide, including the more rural outskirts of town. Officers have responded to several locations within the community for reports of stolen vehicles. In many cases, the vehicles have been left in the owner's driveways, on private property. The common factor is that they were all left unlocked, with the keys inside the vehicle.

Residents are cautioned to properly lock their vehicles and secure the keys in a safe location. Of course, it goes without saying, if the cars are being stolen, so are the contents. Remember to take any valuables out of your vehicle, including wallets, pocketbooks, and electronic devices.

Augusta Police are asking for the community's help with these crimes. Anyone who believes they have information pertaining to the thefts is asked to contact the police at (207) 626-2370.