BARDSTOWN, Ky. (WHAS11) -- Authorities are seeing a rash of car break-ins and they believe guns, not money, is the main objective.

This is a disturbing trend that isn't exclusive to Nelson County, but over the course of the past month, nearly 1 in 3 car break-ins have resulted in a gun being stolen.

Authorities believe they are then being traded for drugs, or sold for cash, making them hard to recover and even harder to trace.

From the rural routes to residential areas Nelson County Sheriff’s deputies are noticing a disturbing trend.

“No one particular area is immune to this right now,” said Capt. Michael Clark. “We’re seeing them everywhere.”

For the last month Capt. Michael Clark has been investigating a string of car break-ins across the county with a common thread; guns are going missing.

“Those firearms were taken from vehicles that were primarily unlocked, and left unsecured,” said Capt. Clark.

Authorities made two arrests at the beginning of December, but that hasn’t slowed down the thieves.

“It’s a crime of opportunity,” said Capt. Clark. “I think they’re basically taking into consideration it’s the time of season.”

While it’s unclear if the car break-ins are connected Capt. Clark says they seem to happen under similar circumstances.

“They’re just walking by and checking cars,” said Capt. Clark. “When they find one open whatever they find is what they take. At this time we don’t have any physical descriptions of vehicles being used or their exact method of transportation.”

While investigators continue to build a case and follow up on potential leads they’re asking that you take steps to protect yourself.

“It could be a dangerous situation,” said Capt. Clark. “You don’t know what debts, or desperation that person might be in at that moment in time. Remove any valuables from the vehicle. GPS, iPhones, iPod, cameras, computers, laptops, money, jewelry, don’t leave any presents in there, and certainly don’t leave any firearms in there.”

Considering the number of gun thefts over the last month if you see someone suspicious you are being asked not to approach them.

Instead, you are being asked to get a description and call the police.