MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department is urging residents to 'stow it, don't show it' after an increase in car crimes in the area.
In the first 28 days of 2018, 495 car thefts have been reported, up 46 percent from the same time in 2017.
Car break-ins are also up from last year with 571 reported since the beginning of the year.
"You feel violated; you feel you have to watch everyone," car theft victim Nicole Taylor said. "Definitely be more cautious of my surroundings and don't leave my purse even just for 5 minutes."
Taylor said a thief broke her passenger-side window and made off with her purse. She said she had parked and gotten out of her car to walk her dog. When she returned, she had a car to repair and a purse to replace.
But she's not alone. Memphis Police Department said it has seen a 30 percent rise in car break-ins and a 46 percent rise in car thefts all over the city.
Police said the biggest areas for the thefts are Downtown Memphis during special events, East Memphis, and Hickory Hill. Those areas see the highest concentration of car-related crimes, but MPD warned that they are happening throughout all parts of the city.
"Please do not leave anything in your car--even a quarter--and lock your car," Col Joe Oakley said. "Please do not leave your cars running unattended."