Petty theft is on the rise near the Chico Nature Center where several cars were broken into this week. The incidents have reportedly been smash and grab thefts where the suspects are breaking out car windows and taking whatever they can find. The main area the thieves are targeting is in the parking lot near the Chico Nature Center off East Eighth Street. One woman says her car was broken into for the second time in two months yesterday. Fortunately the thieves only got away with an empty computer case and some cash, but Chico Police officers are warning residents to not leave any valuables in plain site.