MARIETTA, Ga – A spike in recent car break-ins is causing Marietta police to remind the public to remove any valuables before locking their cars.

Police say car break-ins have increased 18 percent since Oct. 1.

Police have filed 14 charges and have outstanding warrants against two DeKalb County men – Austin Hammett and Jaquan Blakeney, both 19 – who are suspects in seven car break-ins. Both are considered armed and dangerous.

“What appears to be occurring with increased frequency is a pattern of teenage criminals from outside of Marietta coming into the city in stolen cars,” police said in a statement. “They look for groups of unattended parked cars, then rapidly break into multiple cars and flee before the thefts are discovered.

“They often find and steal guns, computers, cameras and other valuables that have been left unsecured in cars that are sometimes left unlocked,” police said.

Police say they are increasing patrols in areas that have been hit, but remind the public to lock their car, remove their valuables and hide any valuables they can’t remove.

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