BRIDGEPORT - Bridgeport police say that the number of auto thefts in the city has increased dramatically over the past few weeks.

Authorities are warning drivers to be more careful about where they leave their cars.

On Wednesday, a 2006 Dodge minivan was stolen, then found on the other side of the city. Police say it had shattered glass and broken plastic under the steering column where it was hotwired.

Police also say another car was stolen in the same part of Bridgeport one day later.

Officials say it's not clear what exactly has led to the rise in auto thefts. They say the recent increase in auto thefts reflects only a short period of time, and the overall rate could quickly level out again.