Many residents have had their mornings turn sour upon opening their car doors in the last couple of weeks. Unlocked doors have proved an easy means for nighttime thieves to score valuable items.

The Astoria Police Department is urging residents to take precautions to avoid what has become a rash of thefts from parked vehicles, said Capt. Alan Oja.

The thefts occurred in several areas around the city and most have involved unlocked vehicle doors, Oja said.

Victims have reported the theft of cell phones, music CDs, a loaded firearm, tools, cash, clothes, vehicle registration information, insurance papers and other valuables.

"In most cases these thefts are a crime of opportunity from an unlocked or unsecured vehicle," Oja said.

Astoria police advise residents to do the following:

• Always lock vehicles when unattended

• Secure items in the trunk or take them inside

• Engrave, mark or otherwise identify property

• If possible, park in well-lit areas

• Watch for and report suspicious people or activities