Washington Police Chief Ken Hahn is reminding citizens to lock their homes and vehicles after a rash of burglaries in the area.

“In interviewing the subjects, we’ve found that there are many more crimes committed that people don’t even know they’re victims of,” Hahn said.

Residents, he said, still tend to think they don’t need to lock their homes or vehicles.

Suspects are simply knocking on doors and if no one answers, they’re walking in and taking valuables.

“Based upon our investigation, they’re just taking advantage of open houses and cars,” he said.

Hahn also reminded citizens not to leave valuables in their cars. Just like in residences, in many of the vehicle thefts, cars aren’t being broken into.

They’re left unlocked with valuables visible on the seat, Hahn said.

“People think it can’t happen here, but in this day and age, we’re victims unless we choose not to be,” he said.

If residents think they have been a victim of a break-in, they may call the Washington Police Department at 636-390-1055.

Hahn said people should call even if they just suspect they’ve been a victim and the police department will investigate.