The Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office is searching for suspects after many employees at the Mercedes Benz U.S. International plant in Vance found their vehicles broken into Wednesday.

Sergeant Josh Hastings, a TCSO spokesperson, said deputies were called to MBUSI Wednesday morning, where a significant number of vehicles had been burglarized.

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Hastings said some doors had been left unlocked and made easy targets, but other vehicles were entered by force and valuables were taken from cars and trucks in an employee parking lot.

No one is in custody for the break-ins and thefts, and Hastings asked anyone with any more information to call the Sheriff's Office at 205-752-0616.

Vehicle break-ins seem to be on the rise in the region lately -- just two weeks ago, the Tuscaloosa Police Department and Tuscaloosa Park and Recreation Authority warned that a number of cars had been burglarized at Sokol Park.

Hastings said TCSO is following up on some leads about the MBUSI incident, but said area residents should be proactive in protecting their vehicles and the items inside.

Double- and triple-check that your doors are locked, Hastings said, and make absolutely sure that no valuables -- purses, cash, valuable electronics, firearms -- are left in plain sight.

For more reports on crime and courts in west Alabama, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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