Published: Dec 10, 2012 6:50 PM EST
Updated: Dec 10, 2012 8:01 PM EST

CAPE CORAL, Fla. - In Cape Coral, police are looking for "car hoppers." Officers say that's when crooks enter unlocked vehicles and steal valuables. In one instance, four cars were hit in one night.

Over the weekend, Denise Gaskill's parents woke up to a scary sight. "Mom came in and said somebody broke into the vehicles," she explained.

Someone had rummaged through the truck and stole valuables such as a phone. "The truck, all the stuff was opened and everything, and my mothers, her car, they went into that," said Gaskill.

They weren't the only ones. Last Friday night, car burglars hit four vehicles in a short period of time in the northeast section of the city near Diplomat Parkway. 

Cape Coral police believe they know who is responsible. "Those that are committed in clusters in the overnight hours, tend to be committed by younger offenders, kids going out and roaming the streets at night," said Sgt. Dana Coston.

It's called car-hopping: where a group of young adults target unlocked cars. "The offenders will walk a neighborhood and they'll try car doors as they are walking down the street," said Coston.

Cape Coral police say your best bet is to double check that you locked your car at night, especially as we move into the holiday season, and some valuables may be left in your car overnight.

"Make sure you remember to lock your cars up at night, because a lot of times, years ago, you didn't have to worry about oh, is the door locked, the car locked? Now you do. You have to make sure everything is secured," said Gaskill. 

The Cape Coral Police Department has a program called "lock it or lose it". It's an awareness campaign aimed at getting people to lock their car doors.      

If you have any information about these crimes, you are urged to call police.