People keep leaving their cars unlocked in Statesville

The Statesville Police Department isn’t blaming the Hyundai/Kia TikTok challenge for a recent increase in motor vehicle thefts. Instead, the department says many of the thefts were preventable.

SEE WHY: TikTok trend blamed for uptick in car thefts in Charlotte, CMPD says

According to SPD, police have responded to 75 reported stolen motor vehicles since January, which the department says is a “notable rise in incidents.”

Many of the thefts, SPD says, have been linked to easily preventable circumstances. Police say cars have been left unattended and running, or unlocked with the keys inside, or just unlocked altogether. Police said in some cases, the theft suspects forced their way into the car.

In response, SPD said it’s urging people to “take proactive measures to safeguard their vehicles and belongings.” That includes removing valuables from cars and making sure all your doors are locked.

The police department did have a bit of good news, saying that officers have “successfully recovered 43 out of the 75 reported stolen vehicles.”

Police said five suspects have been arrested in connection with the thefts. Their names weren’t given in a news release issued Tuesday.

(WATCH: How social media likely fuels street takeovers)