Car thefts are on the rise in Hannibal.
But police say you hold the key to protect yourself from becoming a victim.
Police say in almost 90 percent of reported car thefts, owners left their cars unlocked and their keys inside.
Chief Lyndell Davis says although his department has increased patrols, his officers can't be everywhere.
That's why residents need to do their part to protect themselves from thieves.
With that idea in mind, the department has kicked off its "Lock It or Lose It" campaign to encourage everyone to lock their vehicles...not to mention remove keys and valuables from cars and trucks.
Chief Davis says these types of thefts are crimes of opportunity in which thieves take advantage.
Chief Davis said, "When we've taken suspect statements in the past they'll talk about how they'll look in cars and find the ones that had a lot of things to take or were unlocked. That reinforces the fact that they're looking for the easy mark, the easy target. We want people to be a hard target. Make it more difficult for them to take your items. Take your keys out of your cars."
The Hannibal Police department is using public service messages on radio and tv as well as billboards to remind the public about the importance of protecting themselves from these crimes.