AUBURN — Police are warning residents to make sure their cars are locked overnight, after a rash of burglaries and thefts.

“The biggest message we want to pass on to people is to lock their car doors, regardless of whether they live in the urban area or a rural one,” Auburn Police Sgt. Kris Bouchard said Wednesday.

Police responded to 10 reports of car burglaries between 4 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday morning; seven in the Lake Street neighborhood and three in New Auburn.

It’s a trend that started a week ago, with the burglaries popping up around the city on different nights.

“They pick the days they want to do it,” he said. “They’ll hit an area, then they take a night or two off before they go out again.”

Police suspect a group of juveniles is responsible.

“They may have the assistance of bicycles or a vehicle dropping them off and picking them up,” he said. “Especially in the rural areas, we suspect there is a vehicle dropping them off.”

Police brought in a police dog to search along Hillsdale Street on Wednesday morning, he said.

“We didn’t find the suspects but we were able to find the trail where they went and found some more open doors,” he said. “They are not breaking windows or forcing entry. They look into cars and if the door is unlocked, they open them up.”

He urged residents who see unfamiliar people in their neighborhoods at night to contact the Lewiston-Auburn police dispatch at 207-784-7331 and to make sure their car doors are locked before they turn in for the night.

“Doing that would alleviate a lot of our problems, I think,” he said. “It is a crime of opportunity.”

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