CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- Law enforcement experts often refer to car break-ins as opportunity crimes. In many cases, police have said, thieves will break into cars whose doors were either unlocked or if they spot something valuable inside.
"So we are really pushing the message to remove valuables and not leave them in the car in plain sight," said a staffer with the Cary Police Department.
Late Tuesday evening and early Wednesday morning, thieves smashed cars at the Umstead Hotel & Spa, Sonesta Select RDU, Hampton Inn, and Hilton Garden Inn.
Cary Police told ABC11 that thieves made off with small electronics, cash, and credit cards.
"Wow, that's definitely a little bit concerning," said Cary resident Nate McShane. "If you're buying something expensive like that, you ought to get home as quickly as you can and get inside. Make sure it's somewhere safe. You don't really want to be driving around with something expensive in your car because you're putting yourself at risk of being stolen."
Police did not report an itemization of the contents stolen to ABC11.
However, they did stress the importance of not leaving valuables in plain view.
Realtor Cheyenne Wrerk said Cary is safe and she is surprised to learn what happened. She said she takes steps to not become a victim.
"Before I leave my car, I always make sure I take my purse with me. Try and not leave objects, obviously, for people to try and break in," said Wrerk. "I think everyone needs to all come together as a community to contribute to the safety."
She blames COVID-19 for a shift in people's behavior.
"Since the pandemic, people's behavior has been changed. So we all need to be cautious. The police need to enforce the safety of the neighborhoods," she said.
These incidents follow vehicle break-ins at four of the town's five fire stations on May 21.
"I mean you just gotta have a good head on your shoulders. Make sure those things are hidden. Gotta lock your car," McShane said. "You never know what's going to happen no matter where you are. No matter how safe you think your town is. It's a pretty easy thing to do to keep yourself safe."
If you know anything about these break-ins, you are asked to contact Cary Police.