The Danvers and Peabody police departments are warning residents about a recent rash of car break-ins, many taking place at fitness club parking lots.
In Danvers, police responded to 12 car breaks between Jan. 20 and Jan. 24, said Danvers police Sergeant Robert Bettencourt.
"Most of these car breaks fall on the Route 1 and [Route] 114 corridor," Bettencourt said in a telephone interview. "The area has been plagued with car breaks."
Of the 12 incidents, Bettencourt said, seven took place in fitness club parking lots. Thieves broke into five cars at Boston North Fitness on Prince Street and the other two at Planet Fitness on Route 1, according to Bettencourt.
In Peabody, police responded to two car breaks at Latitude Fitness on Newbury Street on Jan. 22, Peabody police Detective Peter Olson said in an email.
In each case the suspect or suspects stole property such as laptops, GPS devices, and other goods left in the cars.
According to Bettencourt, the break-ins appear to be related. In each case suspects smashed car windows to gain entry, and thefts took place between 4:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., Bettencourt said.
"I think that the person or persons are aware that people go to work out after work," Bettencourt said.
Peabody police advise residents to take the break-ins into account when leaving valuables in their cars.
"The Peabody Police would like to remind the public to take a moment to place valuable items out of view," Olson said in an email.
Danvers police are promoting a similar message.
"We continue to tell people to get their valuables out of sight," Bettencourt said. "Put it in the trunk at least."