Belton police are hoping citizens with security cameras can help them solve a string of vehicle thefts and break-ins that occurred over the weekend.

According to the Belton Police Department, three vehicles were stolen and eight were burglarized early Sunday morning in the Saddle Creek and Liberty Valley neighborhoods.

Investigators say all of the targeted vehicles were unlocked at the time of the crimes, and that all the stolen vehicles had keys left in them. Fortunately, the stolen cars have been recovered. However, four guns stolen from targeted vehicles have not.

Belton PD is asking that anyone living in either of those neighborhoods who has security cameras installed and is interesting in helping them with this case call them at (254) 933-5840. If you have video from that area and think it may have spotted the suspects, police could definitely use your assistance.

Police are also stressing the importance of locking your car doors after either removing valuables from your vehicle or hiding them. If you could use a handy reminder, I recommend following the Belton Police Department on Facebook. Every night, they post an eye-catching and amusing meme about the "9PM Routine" - a call to check your car doors and other areas of your home you need to secure before you go to bed at night.

“These crimes are easy to prevent,” Belton Police Chief Gene Ellis said. “When a car burglar pulls on a locked door handle, he typically moves quickly to the next car. Don’t give a dishonest person the opportunity to steal from you. Lock your car and take your valuables inside. Most importantly, please do not leave firearms in unlocked cars.”

I agree with Chief Ellis. Don't make things any easier for scummy people who'll take the opportunity to raid or steal the vehicle you've worked hard to get and keep running.

I'd go even further and say never leave your car unlocked or running when you're going to be turning your back and walking away from it. I don't even leave mine unlocked when I pump gas. You never know.