Whether it's due to an increase in incidents, reporting, or general awareness, it seems that home and car burglaries are on the rise in our area.

Which towns have seen the most action?

In Monmouth County, Manalapan has seen several burglaries across the township. Manalapan Patch reports thefts in homes along Rt. 33, Rt. 9 and Falcon Drive. Someone also illegally entered a garage on Wickatunk Rd., though nothing was taken.

In Ocean County, Toms River has had incidents on Church Road, Charlene Rd., Cathedral Ct, and others. Jackson and Brick have also seen several incidents lately.

Thieves have taken everything from a jar of coins to electronics to tens of thousands of dollars worth of jewelry and other valuables.

Even if you don't live in those towns, you should still make your home as unattractive to thieves as possible.

How can you deter thieves?

It seems obvious, but remember to close windows and keep doors locked, especially when you leave your home.

Trim shrubs and hedges around your home, so thieves have fewer places to hide.

Don't store keys or tools outside.

Don't leave electronics like iPads, iPods, or GPS units in your car.

Going on vacation? Don't tell everyone on Facebook when you'll be away! Thieves are increasingly searching online to find out when potential victims will be out of town.

Other tips from TLC include holding your mail until you return, asking a neighbor to keep an eye on things, and hiring a house or pet-sitter.

If you see a theft, or something suspicious, call police. Never approach a thief, you never know how violent they will be.

Stay safe, everyone!

Do you feel like crime has increased recently where you live? Share your thoughts below!