After a number of automobile thefts this year, the Ashe County Sheriff's Department is encouraging car owners to be certain to lock up the vehicles.

The Ashe Post and Times reports that there have been four car thefts so far this year, and according to Lt. Tony Blevins, all four thefts were of cars that had been left running.

The thefts occurred in Smethport, Warrensville, Fleetwood and Peak Creek.

Blevins said it's an abnormal amount of activity for Ashe County, and that folks should be sure to lock car doors and not leave keys in the ignition.

According to the report, the Ashe County Sheriff’s Office does not believe the four thefts are connected.