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SHIRLEY — Citing a string of motor vehicle break-ins and thefts over the last couple of weeks, Police Chief J. Gregory Massak cautioned residents to lock their cars when they park them for the night — even in their the driveways — and to take valuables inside.

In one recent incident reported on July 30, a Shirley woman told police that a camera and a GPS were stolen from her vehicle when it was parked on Lancaster Road between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The car was unlocked, Massak said.

On July 31, seven vehicles parked at the Shaker Meadows apartment complex on Harvard Road were broken into and items were stolen. All the vehicles were unlocked.

A suspicious vehicle spotted leaving the area was traced to a residence in Waltham, Chief Massak said. The owners, who told police that a set of keys to the vehicle was missing, are not considered suspects at this time, he said.

But some of the stolen items were found in the vehicle, which was dusted for fingerprints, he said. The investigation is ongoing.

The good news is that some of the items were recovered. The bad news is that the thefts can’t be considered isolated incidents.

Thieves look for easy opportunities, Massak said, but people can take action to avoid becoming victims. “Please, remember to secure your vehicles and take your possessions inside with you,” he said.

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