Thieves continue breaking into Hyundai and Kia makes after certain models were revealed to not have an anti-theft system.
ROCK ISLAND, Ill. — Over the course of 24 hours, Rock Island Police handled 14 cases of cars being stolen, attempted to be stolen or recovered as stolen, according to a press release sent out by the department the morning of Thursday Dec. 22.
In all but one of these cases, the vehicles targeted were a Hyundai or Kia make. According to police, with those makes, the perpetrator broke out a window and damaged the steering column to bypass the key ignition switch.
Those specific models are being targeted as being known to not have an “anti-theft immobilizer system.”
The time frame these thefts occurred ran from 7:44 a.m. Wednesday to just after 8 a.m. on Thursday, according to Rock Island Police Chief Richard Landi.
Three arrests were made in relation to two incidents. Two male juveniles, one 13-year-old and one 14-year-old, were charged with unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle and taken to the Mary Davis Juvenile Detention Center in Galesburg.
A third person arrested was 18-year-old Ethan A. DeWild, who was charged with unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle. DeWild was taken to the Rock Island County Jail to be held pending a court appearance.
Owners of Hyundai or Kia cars are encouraged by the Rock Island Police department to take precautions to deter thefts. They recommend storing your car inside a locked garage. If you park outside, consider purchasing a theft prevention device, such as a steering wheel lock.
Anyone with information related to these cases is asked to contact the Rock Island Police Department at (309) 732-2677 or Crime Stoppers at (309) 762-9500 or using the P3 Tips app.