Three teenagers were arrested for vehicle thefts or attempted thefts in Rock Island.

In the last 24 hours, the Rock Island Police Department has handled 14 incidents of vehicles
being either stolen, attempted to be stolen or recovered as stolen, according to a Thursday police release. In all but one of these cases, the vehicles involved were a Hyundai or Kia.

In every incident involving the Hyundai or Kia, the perpetrator broke out a window and damaged the steering column to bypass the key ignition switch. Thieves are targeting Hyundai and Kia vehicles due to specific models and manufactured years not having an anti-theft immobilizer system, police said.

The Rock Island Police Department encourages owners of Hyundai or Kia vehicles to take extra
precautions to deter and/or prevent thieves from stealing their vehicle. If possible, store your car
inside a locked garage or access-controlled parking lot. If you have to park your car outside or
on the street, consider purchasing a theft prevention device such as a steering wheel lock.

Ethan A. DeWild (Contributed photo)

Three arrests were made related to two of these incidents. Two male juveniles, one 13 years old and the other 14, were charged unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle and detained at the Mary Davis Juvenile Detention Center in Galesburg. The third person arrested was 18-year-old Ethan A. DeWild, who was also charged with unlawful possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

DeWild was remanded to the Rock Island County Jail, where he is being held pending a first court appearance. 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.