FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE)- A surge in vehicle thefts has exceeded to over 100 in the Fort Wayne area. In the first 3 months of 2023, 116 reported stolen vehicles and 153 total reported vehicle thefts. That’s about 20 more than in 2022.

These are the numbers from 2022 & 2023. Keys used are the number of vehicles that were stolen with keys in the ignition.

WANE 15 drove through the Hamilton, Nebraska and North Highlands neighborhoods where most of these thefts are taken place. The locations of four thefts are only five minutes apart.

A few locations WANE 15 drove by on Thursday afternoon where many vehicle thefts have taken place.

Sgt. Jeremy Webb with the Fort Wayne Police Department explains most of these vehicle break-ins are Kias and Hyundais. “Once those Kias and Hyundais are stolen, the suspect will then post it on social media,” said Sgt. Webb.

The reason why this is happening? Most residents are leaving their keys in the ignition while they are warming up their vehicles.

“If you can avoid warming up your car or stay with your car while it’s warming up and don’t leave it or if you have two sets of keys where you can use one set to keep your car running and another set to keep locked,” said Sgt. Webb.