Hyundai, Kia thefts continue to rise in the Richmond area
In May alone, 55 were stolen, and 19 were reported stolen last week.
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Thefts of Hyundai and Kia vehicles are skyrocketing in the Richmond area, with 110 Hyundai and Kias stolen so far this year.
This time last year, a total of 25 had been stolen.
The thefts started as a trend on social media, exposing the cars’ manufacturing flaws. Thieves can easily use a USB cord to steal the vehicles. In May alone, 55 were stolen, and 19 were reported stolen last week.
“It’s a daily occurrence when I come into work and see the day before where several vehicles in this area have been stolen again,” said Richmond Police Captain Anthony Jackson.
Jackson says it can be challenging to catch the suspect because thieves work primarily at night, the cars that get found are abandoned and security cameras don’t always provide much detail. Most suspects that police have caught have been younger people.
“They’re generally younger; we’ve seen juveniles, teenagers, young adults we’ve generally seen,” Jackson said.
The thefts have been occurring throughout the city, but Jackson says he’s seeing a spike in Manchester.
He recommends Kia and Hyundai owners go to their dealership and get the security flaw fixed.
He also recommends a club steering wheel lock, an anti-theft device that prevents steering and deters thieves from stealing the vehicle.
“Something so simple, something rudimentary, something we’ve used for a couple of decades, at least now at this point, but we’ve gone away with it because we haven’t needed it with the technology,” Jackson said. “You go old school, and it can protect your car now.”
Jackson said drivers should always be prepared and have their guard up.
“If they haven’t been affected by this yet, it’s a good chance they’ll be affected by this in the future,” he said.
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