The City of Santee has been a target of a number of recent car thefts, prompting increased patrols from authorities in the area.
Sara Irwin told NBC 7 that she got quite the surprise the morning of September 28 when she walked out to her parking space.
"I was getting the kids ready for school, I came out to my car and it was gone," Irwin said.
Her Mazda, was stolen in the middle of the night.
"At first I thought maybe it was a joke; but then I looked around a bit and knew it was gone," she said.
Irwin said her car was locked but she had left a key fob, which usually didn’t work, inside the car.
Deputies from the San Diego County Sheriff's Department (SDSO) told NBC 7 cases like this are popping up all over Santee, including the 8200 block of Graves Avenue where four vehicles were reported stolen in the last couple of weeks.
Neighbors who have heard about Irwin's experience say they are now keeping a close eye on their property.
"Now that I've talked to some neighbors about it, yes, there's been a few people saying that their cars have been broken into, things stolen out of it," Irwin said. "My whole car was gone, so I was a little sad."
Deputies in Santee say they are increasing patrols in areas that are seeing an uptick in crime.
So far, no arrests have been made.