COLUMBUS, Neb. -- "The less opportunity we present for people that are going to commit these criminal activities, the less criminal activity we are going to have," said Doug Molczyk, Columbus Police Department captain.

The Columbus Police Department is warning the public to take action in protecting their vehicles.

In the last year, the CPD has reported 51 motor vehicle break-ins. 

The police department issued a warning to the public last week on their Facebook page to make sure vehicles are secured while unoccupied.

Molczyk said that a break-in could happen at any time.

"It's a crime of opportunity. If there are five or six dollars in quarters or something like that, that is what people are after," he said. " That, cellphones, computers, laptops, sunglasses. But, a lot of it is liquid assets - like money."

Other items that have been stolen include wallets, checkbooks and even weapons.

Molyczk added that the best way to prevent thefts is by taking preventative measures. 

He told News Channel Nebraska the best ways to keep your vehicle safe.

"The biggest prevention can be just locking your vehicle, just securing your vehicle. When you walk out of your vehicle, hit the door locks, lock your vehicle," he said. "Put your vehicle in your garage, lock your garage, lock your vehicle."

Molcyzk also said to make sure that all of vehicle windows are rolled up before locking it.

If you have been the victim of a break-in, you can contact your local police department.