PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — According to Peoria’s Chief of Police, 154 vehicles have been stolen since the beginning of the year in Peoria, and 52% of those cars are Kia’s or Hyundai.

Ten cars have been stolen in the past four days, and that doesn’t even include the items stolen from inside other cars.

“It’s a trend that we’re seeing nationwide and there’s opportunity to go online and learn how to steal specific vehicles and they’re taking advantage of that,” said Peoria Police Chief Eric Echevarria.

Cyle Metzger, a Peoria resident, noticed his car was broken into over the weekend, but the person unsuccessfully attempted to steal his car.

“Mechanisms below the steering wheel had all been torn up where someone had clearly tried to steal the car but couldn’t, and I’m guessing it’s because it’s a stick shift,” said Metzger.

Metzger is the owner of a Hyundai Accent, one of the most popular cars to get stolen.

Josh Gilles, also a Peoria resident, had his car stolen on Sunday, Feb. 12.

“I was at home. I had it [the car] parked on the street. I walked outside and noticed the car was gone and I saw the window shattered on the ground, so I knew immediately it was stolen,” said Gilles.

Gilles car was found one to two hours after he reported it missing. It was found in an alley by Manual High School, with the car door open in the middle of the road. The only thing that was taken from the car: a car seat.

Chief Echevarria said he’s hoping the cars that are easily stolen can be recalled.

“We’ve been in contact with Hyundai and Kia and we’re hoping to see some type of recall that’ll come through,” said Echevarria.

Of the 154 cars stolen since the new year, 40% of them have been stolen from the East and West Bluff, as well as the South End of Lincoln. Almost all of them have been stolen by repeat juvenile offenders.

The chief said there are a few easy ways to make sure a car isn’t broken into. “Don’t leave your car running, unless you have a remote start. Lock your vehicles and don’t leave your keys in the car. Park your car in a well-lit area, if you have a garage, use it.”

He also said the increase in stolen vehicles isn’t normal. He said the theft is most likely due to videos circulating on social media explaining how to steal a car.

The majority of cars that have been stolen, Echevarria said, “What we’re seeing is vehicles are unlocked, and those are the vehicles that are being stolen. We aren’t seeing car windows being broken and the car being stolen for the majority of the time, it’s unlocked vehicles.”

For those whose cars have been stolen, he said it’s important to contact the police right away. Once the license plate is put on a hot list, license plate readers can alert the officers of where the car is.