Police: Certain Kia and Hyundai cars being stolen due to social media trend

Henrico Police are investigating 18 thefts in the last two months involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles.
Published: Oct. 4, 2022 at 6:26 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico police are investigating multiple vehicle thefts in the last two months involving Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

Police say the thefts could be linked to the nationwide social media trend that has teenagers swiping cars using a USB cord. The cars are also hot targets because they are, apparently, easy to steal.

You could very well have your car stolen because thieves are taking advantage of an issue with the ignition in the vehicle, all stemming from a viral TikTok challenge.

This applies to Hyundais made between 2016-2021 and Kias made between 2011-2021, which do not have push-button starts and use a traditional turn-key ignition.

These criminals are using USB cords as make-shift keys.

In most cases, significant damage is done to the steering columns of the cars.

In the last couple of weeks, Henrico Police say this viral social media trend led to 18 vehicle thefts. Many of these thefts have been along Azalea Avenue, Crenshaw Road, in the Pony Farm Apartments and Overlook at Brook Run Apartment communities.

“It’s suspected to be juveniles, so it’s important for parents to have a serious conversation with their kids about the severity and the consequences associated with this type of behavior,” Lt. Matthew Pecka with Henrico Police said.

There is a solution for Hyundai owners, but it will cost you.

A $170 security kit is available to purchase to protect your car, but it’s steep between that and installation fees.

A software update is also in the works.

You can also get a steering wheel lock for your car to prevent it from being stolen.

In the meantime, the police suggest you park your car in the garage if you have one.

You can also reach out to your local Kia or Hyundai dealership to see if they can help.