BROOKINGS, S.D (KELO) — The community of Brookings is experiencing a huge increase in car break-ins. The most recent incident was over the past few days when 40 cars appeared to have been broken into.

The Brookings Police Department is reporting a big uptick in car break-ins. What started off as a few have turned into dozens just in the past month.

“Over the span of those several weeks, we’ve had at least 40 to 60 different cars that have been entered illegally, most likely, with the outcome to be in a property that’s valued that was stolen,” said Michael Drake, Chief of Brookings Police Department.

Most of the break-ins resulted in thefts of electronics, money and small items. Drake says a few of the stolen items are alarming.

“There have been three handguns that were stolen in the process of the last few weeks of these larcenies into vehicles,” Drake said.

I rode along with Patrol Officer Ben Liebl to the South side of town with the highest concentration of break-ins. One of these areas was Heritage Drive.

Over 30 cars were broken into this weekend, and as police continue to investigate the area, they’re expecting to find more.

“The main thing that was stolen from these vehicles in regards to that Sunday night incident, a lot of it was cash….a lot of cash, essentially just money. If they saw money they took it,” Liebl said.

Liebl says residents should be sure to keep their car doors locked, park under well-lit areas and keep valuables out of your car.

“Even like phone cords, charging cords, if you can tuck those away into center consoles and glove boxes. It’s just one less reason for somebody to go in there if they don’t see something they can take,” Liebl said

Brookings police is investigating the burglaries, at this time no one has been arrested.

Drake says these break-ins can happen anywhere. He says if residents see something suspicious, say something.