Sheriff Terry Deese said that 17 car break-ins and 3 additional stolen cars have been reported in Peach County in January. He said most sheriff's offices in Central Georgia are experiencing the same thing.

Deese says the thieves are not doing anything to locked cars, but they are targeting neighborhoods early in the morning while people are asleep to see if cars have been left unlocked. They are covering their hands and faces so that they won’t leave behind evidence.

Deese warned for people not to leave valuables inside, take your car keys with you, always lock your car, and pay attention to unusual activity. So far, the thieves haven’t damaged cars or become violent.

Derrick Golphin works in Macon. He said he moved to Peach County with his wife and daughter to avoid crime, but that isn’t the case anymore.

“You just can’t blame everything about Macon anymore. I work in Macon and they compare everything to Macon, but you know, criminals have cars they can travel in. You have to be cognizant of your surroundings and make sure your property is secure,” said Golphin.

Golphin’s neighborhood has seen break-ins before, but not recently. He says he is always on the lookout for thieves and takes precautions when it comes to his family’s cars.

If you think you have been a victim of a car break-in, Deese asks that you contact local law enforcement immediately so they can gather information to find the people responsible.