Thieves steal cars out of driveways in Plainfield

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PLAINFIELD, Ind. (Dec. 2, 2014)-- Multiple victims in Plainfield reported Tuesday that their cars were taken right out of their driveways. It's part of a bigger trend Plainfield police tell FOX59 that they are tracking.

Police there report eight vehicle thefts in three weeks. What they say is common about all of them is that the doors were unlocked and the keys were left inside the cars.

"We came out and both of our vehicles were gone," said Ronnette Neal.

Neal got an early morning wake-up call on Tuesday morning. She found her driveway on Dunn Street empty. Both her car and her husband's truck were stolen. She admits that they made themselves victims, with the keys left in the console.

"They were unlocked," she said, "Lock your cars up and take your keys in with you."

Across the street, Vikki Robertson's 1994 Oldsmobile disappeared, too.

"I don't know. I went into shock," she said.

Robertson said it had to have happened after 5 a.m. once her husband left for work. The lights in her house were on. She got up at 6 a.m. Robertson didn't get a glimpse of who took her car.

"Just walked up, bold as can be, and took it," she said, "I just forgot the keys were in the car. I usually bring them in every night."

But for Robertson, it isn't a petty theft. She takes care of her granddaughter, her mother with Alzheimer's and even fosters pets. This theft hit her in the heart.

"A lot of people depend on that car, and I'm more upset for them. I need it for them," said Robertson, through tears.

Thefts of this type have popped up in recent weeks in Plainfield, police said.

Crooks are going through unlocked cars, stealing what they can get their hands on. If the keys are in the car, they'll steal the car too.

"What it tends to look like is that you have some opportunistic thefts," said Lt. Gary Tanner with the Plainfield Police Department.

Tanner said the crimes are concentrated in a small area, not bigger than a mile. The area in question is south of U.S. 40, and north of Stafford Road, bordered by Avon Avenue and State Road 267.

In one case, a suspect stole a credit card and used it in Indianapolis. Police just released a photo of that suspect.

Tanner said the advice is to secure your card and your valuables.

"Not just your car being stolen, but the items inside your car," he said, "Make sure you hide the items or take them with you."

It's a lesson Vikki Robertson learned the hard way on her quiet street.

"We're not safe anywhere, not even in a small town," she said, "I just wish they would bring my car back for my family."

Plainfield police tell FOX59 of the eight cars stolen, two of them have been recovered on the city's east side near Rural Street and I-70. All the thefts seem to be happening in the early morning hours between 4:30 and 7.