MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The area commander of the Salvation Army is promising to add security and asking people to be vigilant after several car break-ins at the Kroc Center in Midtown.

Eight vehicles, including seven belonging to employees, were broken into at the Salvation Army’s Kroc Center on Wednesday, Major Timothy Gilliam said in an email. MPD confirmed they responded and said the suspects were seen leaving in a silver vehicle.

More than 70 vehicles this year suffered break-ins, and five have been stolen at the athletic center on East Parkway, Gilliam said. Thousands more break-ins have happened across the city.

“If you have been affected by any of these heinous acts, my wife and I are sincerely sorry… We will continue to do our best to increase security in the days ahead,” Gilliam wrote. “In the meantime, please take every precaution – locking your vehicle doors, not leaving valuables in your vehicles, keeping your cell phones out and ready to use at all times, and keeping your ‘head on a swivel’ to ensure you are aware of your surroundings.”

Gilliam says the Kroc Center is taking steps to increase security, even though the Memphis Police Department patrols through the property several times a day.

“Be assured that we are doing everything we can to keep staff and Kroc members safe,” he wrote. “It goes without saying, we are praying that God will protect life and property.”

Those steps may include portable flood lights for the parking lots and an off-duty law enforcement officer to patrol the property after sunset each day.

“We’re looking at getting flood lights and those should be delivered tomorrow,” said Major Ray Jackson.

Jackson and Gilliam hope more can be done.

“Unfortunately, that’s happening all over. What can we do, making sure got measures in place so we can kind of eliminate some of that,” Jackson said.

“Long-term I think we gotta provide other outlets for young people to use their talents, gifts, and energy in a more constructive way,” Gilliam said.