A rash of thefts from parked cars has prompted Medford police to urge motorists to lock their doors when leaving their vehicles.

A rash of thefts from parked cars has prompted Medford police to urge motorists to lock their doors when leaving their vehicles.

Sixteen reports of stolen cell phones, wallets and CDs have poured into the department in recent days, said Lt. Bob Hansen.

"The Grinch is out doing some shopping too," said Hansen.

All but one of the cars were unlocked, according to reports. The driver of that particular car had locked his vehicle, but left a window partially open, allowing the thief to reach inside the car and open the door, he said.

The property losses in the crimes are not as significant as the potential for identity theft, Hansen said.

"Once they've got your wallet, they've got your identity, your bank card," and a host of other private information, he said.

Hansen said the thefts are occurring throughout Medford. The majority have occurred in the west side of the city. But police believe there are several opportunistic "Grinches" at work.

"They wander around, find an unlocked car, and rifle through it," said Hansen. "They don't like to break glass because that makes noise and attracts attention."

The thieves have been known to come back to the same car more than once, he said.