LAKE CITY, Fla. -

Police in Lake City are investigating several car burglaries occuring in the areas of Southeast Waldron and Southeast Castillo Terrace and the Windsong Apartment complex parking lots.

Police said all have similar characteristics: They are vehicles that appear to have been left unlocked and parked in driveways.

Investigators said the times of the burglaries are during the nighttime hours after the victims go to bed. It appears in each case the thieves are walking the neighborhood checking for unlocked vehicles, and once they find one they rummage through it, stealing available items such as purses, cash, credit cards, guns and a child's karate outfit, police said.

The Lake City Police Department, in an ongoing community awareness campaign, has emphasized the "Lock It or Lose It" slogan. As the thieves are looking to steal items, they do not want to draw attention to themselves and will check door handles on the vehicles until they find one unlocked, police said. Once inside, they will grab anything of value.

The two main steps residents can take to avoid becoming a victim are to take their valuables inside and lock their car doors every time they get out.

Residents can call police at 386-752-4343 or dial 911 anytime they see something suspicious or out of place.