MADISON, Wis. -

The Madison Police Department is asking residents to do their part in preventing smash-and-grab thefts from vehicles, according to a release.

There has been an increase in smash-and-grab thefts in the downtown area, police said. Most of the thefts reported have occurred in the early-morning hours.

Officials said there has also been an increase in thefts from unlocked vehicles throughout the city.

In smash-and grab-thefts, the perpetrator usually looks into the vehicle and if there are backpacks, laptops or other valuables visible they break the window with a rock, and reach in and take the item, police said.

With unlocked vehicle thefts, robbers check car doors and make entry when the cars are unlocked, according to the release. Unlocked vehicle thefts have been reported at any time of the day or night.

Police remind everyone to keep valuables out of sight or to take them with you when you lock your vehicle.

Officials ask if anyone has information about any cases like this or can identify possible suspects to contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at 608-266-6014 or online.