PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Police Department made eight arrests during a directed patrol Wednesday.

According to a Peoria police press release, officers also conducted 45 traffic stops, seized one handgun and illegal drugs, issued 21 tickets and recovered two stolen vehicles.

Major incidents included:

  • Arrested 31-year-old Jose R. DeJesus without incident for aggravated vehicle hijacking. DeJesus was transported to the Peoria County Jail.
  • A 15-year-old suspect fled on foot after he was observed driving in a stolen vehicle. The juvenile was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle and numerous traffic charges. The juvenile was transported to the Peoria County Juvenile Detention Center.
  • 39-year-old Travis L. Kern was arrested for unlawful possession of methamphetamine and transported to the Peoria County Jail.
  • On Starr Street and Madison Park Terrace, officers attempted a traffic stop on a vehicle. The driver exited the vehicle and fled on foot, while the passenger entered the driver’s seat and fled the scene. The suspect who fled on foot discarded a stolen firearm. Officers did not pursue the vehicle, and the suspect who ran on foot was not located. This incident remains under investigation.
  • Officers also provided information to area residents where an uptick in motor vehicle thefts has taken place.

“In addition to our Directed Patrol last night, our officers walked through neighborhoods where several vehicle thefts have occurred. Many of the vehicle thefts are due to cars left running unattended,” Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria stated. “Please make sure your vehicles are locked and parked in well-lit areas. Let’s do our part to avoid becoming a victim of vehicle theft.”

There were a total of more than 30 law enforcement officers participating in this directed patrol.