DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Dayton Police Department is continuing to investigate an increase in car thefts.

According to Major Jason Hall, DPD saw a 38 percent increase in car thefts compared to this time last year. Part of the increase can be attributed to a new theft technique being used on Kia’s and Hyundai’s, but that is just a fraction of the thefts.

“It’s a growing segment. It’s alarming, we have concerns about that. But as a general practice, all vehicles, all makes and models,” Maj. Hall explained.

Maj. Hall said these thefts are happening across the community, and at all times throughout the day. He wants people to stay aware of this growing trend and prevent themselves from becoming a victim.

There are some things people can do, like the obvious: locking your car. Maj. Hall said people can also install an alarm or an immobilizer for the steering wheel or break pedal. He said putting a GPS device in you car could also help.

“Usually they come with an app service that can say, ‘hey, this is where this item is.’ We’d obviously not be encouraging people to recover their own vehicle, but to share that information with us and help us recover the vehicle and possibly make an apprehension,” Maj. Hall said.

Maj. Hall stressed DPD is working to put an end to this problem. He said the community can also play a crucial role in helping with investigations and safeguarding their vehicles.

“We’re also doing some focused enforcement specifically to address stolen vehicles. We did two last week and were able to recover several vehicles. So it’s kind of one of those things we all need to come together to solve this problem,” Maj. Hall said.