PORTSMOUTH, Va. - Portsmouth Police are taking action against car break-ins.
On Monday, officers went door-to-door in the Cradock neighborhood reminding people to lock their vehicle doors.
"The offenders are going down the street and they’re just checking door handles and if your door is open, it’s free game," Police Chief Angela Greene said.
Since the beginning of the year, Greene reports that the department has seen an alarming number of larcenies across the city.
In particular, she said criminals are taking off with guns left inside parked vehicles.
Since January, the department found 76 firearms have been reported stolen.
"So, these are obviously 76 firearms that are in the hands of criminals now to commit additional crimes," Greene said.
To prevent this from happening, officers are trying to intervene in communities and are urging residents to be more careful.
While in the neighborhoods, officers are also connecting with people to build trust and understand other problems in the area.
“It gave me reassurance that they do care about us; in case something did happen, they would be here to stop it," said resident Rachael Livingston.
Police also said it's a good idea to get in some sort of routine, so whenever you're not physically in your car, make sure the doors are locked.
Monday's walk was just one of many. Officers will be along High Street in Old Town on Wednesday at 5 p.m.