Mid-Missouri law enforcement agencies are encouraging residents to be aware of the potential for theft during the holiday season.

One way to slow the rash of thefts that escalates in December is to simply remember to lock your cars and homes, said Ashland Police Chief Lyn Woolford.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department took numerous reports of larcenies from unlocked vehicles on Wednesday morning at rural homes north of Columbia and is reminding citizens to always lock their vehicles and not create an opportunity for thieves by leaving items of value in plain sight.

At least eight different citizens living in the County Downes and Kinkade Crossing near subdivisions near Highway VV reported laptops, wallets, purses clothing, loose change and other items taken from their vehicles overnight.

Woolford warned that this type of theft took place in Ashland and east of town in November.

“It’s not just locking your cars at home,” Woolford cautioned, “but also when you’re shopping or attending holiday events in Columbia or Jefferson City.”

Woolford also noted that there were already reports of “package-porch” thefts in Mid-Missouri.

“They have already had some of these in Fulton and they had a number of them in Columbia last year,” Woolford said. “It’s a good idea to make other arrangements for packages to be delivered during the holiday season.”