FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Ill. – In one day, car thieves took seven cars in Fairview Heights and nearby areas. Police departments in the Metro East are teaming up to investigate and find courses of action to prevent future thefts.

“The cops actually came to my house, woke me up, and told me my car was stolen,” Sierra Houghlan said.

Houghlan’s wake-up call came at 4 a.m., after her Kia was stolen from her driveway on Bunkum Road.

“We had several vehicles that were stolen out of people’s driveways, in front of their house, along with that, we also recovered a lot of stolen vehicles in the city,” Chief Steve Johnson, Fairview Heights Police Department, said.

From Forest Drive in Fairview Heights to Wimmer Place in East St. Louis, seven Kia and Hyundai model vehicles vanished and later turned up in Washington Park and East St. Louis.

“It’s not just in the middle of the night. They’re pretty brazen,” Johnson said. “(It’s) happening in the middle of the day also.”

Houghlan, a single mother who had personal belongings and holiday gifts in her car, said she feels violated.

“I’m disappointed. It’s right before Thanksgiving,” she said.

Chief Johnson said the young male suspects jump from neighborhood to neighborhood on joyrides.

“All the chiefs have been talking. There’s been a lot of this going on,” he said. “There’s an influx (of car thefts), then it stops, then it comes back again.”

The chief says to call police if you see something, instead of posting it on social media.

Meanwhile, Houghlan is left in an uneasy situation.

“Think about other people. I’m in the same boat. I’m just trying to make it,” she said.