FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Kelly Benton, who is the vice president of the West Central Neighborhood Association, loves where she lives.

However, a recent rash of car-related thefts has left many in the neighborhood on edge.

“It has gotten to the point where people are afraid every day that they are going to have their car stolen,” Benton said.

She said several cars have not only been stolen but crashed and dumped in West Central, including one car that crashed into her garden two weeks ago.

“It was about 3 a.m. we were asleep, and we heard what we thought was thunder,” Benton said. “We all rushed outside and there was a car, it was stolen and abandoned.”

Benton is looking for the Fort Wayne Police Department to step in and increase police presence until the culprits are found and punished.

“We would love to see more police presence here in West Central,” Benton said.

Benton said most of the vehicles being stolen are either manufactured by Kia or Hyundai, and those brands have had some security issues leading to widespread theft across the nation.

Security camera footage from a neighbor revealed who Benton believes to be the thieves.

“We think that the thieves are children,” Benton said.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what age the perpetrators are, Benton is ready for her streets to be safe.