Walking out to get in your vehicle to go to work and finding that it was broken into over the night is not a good way to start your day. You feel violated that your personal space was violated whether the thief took anything or not.

But in most situations the thieves find easy pickings in Maumelle.

Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams said most of the time the thieves look for vehicles that are left unlocked. And he said it’s not uncommon for the thieves to find laptop computers, guns, purses, checkbooks and other high dollar valuables left in the unlocked vehicle.

A few years back a thief even found a bank bag with $8,000 in cash from a local restaurant’s cash receipts. That case was solved and the Maumelle police department has been successful in solving many of the cases but in many instances the stolen items are long gone.

Last month, however, a quick thinking Maumelle officer viewed the surveillance tapes and got a description of the suspect and went looking for him catching him on Counts Massie Road.

Williams said suspects they’ve caught in the past admit they look for the easy targets — unlocked vehicles and if they encounter a locked vehicle they usually move on to another.

Williams said the lone thief or those operating in groups usually hit in sprees, getting several vehicles at one time. Other than locking your vehicle and not leaving valuables in them overnight, he said the best defense is an observant community.

If you see a strange person or something that looks suspicious call the police and let us check them out, Williams said.

Here are a few recent incidents:

51 Crystal Mountain Lake: On Feb. 2 Albert Hepp, 77, reported his 2005 Ford F150 pickup truck was gone through but he couldn’t find anything missing.

118 Summit Valley Circle: On Jan 30, Joshua Burroughs, 32, said someone rummaged through his 2013 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck and siphoned gasoline from it.

134 Breckenridge Lane: On Jan. 30, Keith Ihms, 56, told police his glove box and center console had been searched but all he could find missing was two leather notebooks. He also said his garage door opener in the vehicle was used to open his garage but he hadn’t been able to find anything missing so far.

501 Valencia Drive: On Jan. 31, Kasey Burnam, 38, reported his 1994 GMC Sierra pickup truck had been stolen.

6 Brittney Drive: On Jan. 24, Tina Chastain, 45, said her 2013 Cadillac Escalade and her husbands 2012 Ford pickup truck had both been broken into. She said $650 in cash was missing from a purse she left in her vehicle and a Beretta A400 semiautomatic shotgun from her husband’s truck. They also gained entry into her garage and attempted to pry open a rear sliding door to the home but were unsuccessful.

7 Brittney Drive: On Jan. 24

400 Valencia Drive: On Jan. 19, Arthur Ranney, 44, told police the man he hired to help him move had stolen all his property including a 48-inch flat screen TV, a model boat, entertainment center, five suits, a Kenmore washer and a dryer, a couch and an ottoman. Greg was the only name he had for the man he hired.

16 Club Manor Drive: On Jan. 13, Leslie Steeen, 70, told police his dogs were barking and when he opened his garage to let them out he saw a large framed man standing by his car wearing a dark overcoat. The man fled the scene and he said nothing was missing from his vehicle.

Mountain Terrace Circle: On Jan. 13, Rodney Benning with Harper Construction said an $8,000 control monitor for a Volvo EC220 was stolen from a track excavator on a construction site.

200 Holiday Drive: On Jan. 13, Randy Yancy, 59, of Springfield, Mo told police his 1989 Oldsmobile was stolen from the hotel parking lot while he was a guest there. He had dropped his keys on the ice when he arrived and they were given to the front desk and placed in a lost and found container but not logged in. The keys turned up missing along with the vehicle.

8000 Crystal Hill Road: On Jan. 16, Aaron Sweeden, 32, of Little Rock called police and told them a $600 40 gallon Bradford water heater was stolen from a construction site. He said it was shrink wrapped and sitting on a pallet.

8000 Counts Massie Road: On Jan. 16, Billy Spence, 60, with VCC Construction said six windows valued at $800 was stolen from an apartment construction site.

4 Samantha Lane : On Jan. 16, Russell Yarbourgh, 67, reported a $2,000 set of Callaway gold clubs and a red Razorback golf bag were stolen from his home.

4001 Club Manor Drive: On Jan. 29, Charles Starratt, 50, with First Christian Church told y Drive police the church was broken into and two TVs were stolen.

114 Pleasant Wood Drive: On Jan. 27, Lori McClain, 43, of Little Rock said she was visiting her sister and lost her wallet. It was found later on her sister’s street and its intersection with Shady Drive and turned in to police but all her valuables, credit cards, health insurance cards, social security card and $30 in cash were missing.

35 Crystal Mountain Lane: On Jan. 24, William Corbosier, 35, said his 2013 Nissan Juke had been broken into and checkbooks were taken from his glove box.

101 Olympia Drive: On Jan. 24, James Case, 66, told police their 2013 Honda Accord was broken into and several items were taken from it including a purse, an iPhone, an iPad, a safe deposit box key, several credit cards and debit cards. Three days later one of the credit cards was used at the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in Maumelle and police said surveillance tapes showed a young black female using the card.

47 Crystal Mountain Lane: On Jan. 24, Vandana Dass, 42, said her purse with various credit cards, ID and cosmetics was stolen from a Parker Audi courtesy car she parked in her driveway.

100 Commercial Park Court: On Jan. 23, Katrina Malvin, 33, said her license plate was stolen off her vehicle parked in her driveway.

46 Ouachita Drive: On Jan. 13, Nathan Littlejohn, 30, said his 2012 Ford SUV was broken into and several credit cards, a $100 silver necklace and $10 in change was missing.

100 Commercial Park Drive: On Jan. 21, James Nickerson, 26, reported his 2014 Nissan Altima was broken into and his .45caliber Smith and Wesson pistol and $400 in cash was stolen.

34 Masters Place: On Jan. 12, William Craven, 37, said his 2013 Ford F 150 pickup was broken into and several credit cards and bank checks were stolen.

21 Park Ridge Road: On Jan. 10, Jay Gardner, 34, told police his 2008 Nissan had been broken into and a pair of Rockies boots and a Carhartt jacket was stolen.

15 Masters Place Drive: On Jan. 13, Timothy Boone, 53, said his 2009 Land-rover was broken into and an Apple iPad, a bag of change and a briefcase were stolen.

150 Sierra Valley Loop: On Jan. 11, Cheryl Griffith, 42, reported a black Trikke was stolen out of her garage.

28 Park Ridge Drive: On Jan. 11, David Roberson, 46, said a $2,000 set of Nike golf clubs and a $1,200 Royal Blue Golf bag was stolen from his garage.