GLASGOW, Ky. (WBKO) -- "How often do people leave their keys in their car?
"I'd say pretty frequently because I do it in mine. I'm guilty of it. I leave mine in there." responded Jane Meadows.
It's a habit that may be hard to break for some, but a rise in vehicle thefts in Barren County may have people thinking twice.
"There's all kinds of people out there. It's nothing unusual really, it's just getting down into this area." said Barren County resident, Delmer Wolff.
The Sheriff's Department said though some precautions may seem like ordinary measures, many people are used to a certain way of doing things.
"I grew up on a farm and it wasn't abnormal for me to leave the keys in the old farm truck. That just makes it easier for them," said Sheriff's Deputy, Mike Houchens.
Houchens said many of the thefts have been in rural areas, and may have been accessible for that very reason; the keys were left in the car.
"When you leave your car parked somewhere at the store or next to your house and leave the keys in it, it makes it real vulnerable. All somebody's got to do is come up to the vehicle, this one's running, and I can jump in it and go. When I come out of the store my truck is gone," said Deputy Houchens while opening a truck door during a demonstration.
Keeping your keys on you is one way to avoid a theft, but officials say utilizing locks can be just as important in saving a lot of money and a lot of headache.
"What this lock prevents is somebody coming and backing straight up to the trailer hooking it up and being gone with it. They have to take the time and the tools to cut this lock. That may buy you enough time for someone to see something or hear something to startle them away. It's just another thing that helps to secure your property," said Deputy Houchens, while pointing to a lock on a trailer hitch.
Authorities add, keeping your vehicles and equipment parked in a lighted area can also keep thieves away.
The sheriff's department said the recent thefts have affected mostly the western half of the county and they're investigating leads.
If you have any information on any of the cases please call the Barren County Sheriff's Office at (270) 651-2771.