Richmond Police hands out free steering wheel locks to Kia, Hyundai owners
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Captain Faith Flippo with the Richmond Police Department demonstrates how easy it can be to keep your car out of the hands of thieves.
“We tried to think what other way can we do it. This is a rather old-school mindset because we can remember this device from a few decades ago I think,” said Capt. Faith Flippo, Richmond Police Dept.
Steering wheel locks, also known as The Club, are making a comeback to help Kia and Hyundai owners at risk of theft.
Starting now, until supplies run out, Richmond Police are offering up steering wheel locks for free. The department has 256 of them in total, paid for through a $10,000 grant. You can visit or call any of the city’s four police precincts to receive a device.
“In this situation we recognize it doesn’t matter maybe if your car is locked and your doing all the right precautions, there’s seems to be still more of a drive for individuals to steal these types of cars,” said Capt. Flippo.
In Richmond, car thefts are up 42% compared to last year. That’s more than 600 this year alone.
And when you look at the numbers around Kias and Hyundais, it’s even more worrisome. Almost 300 of them have been stolen so far in 2023, compared to only 27 at this point last year.
“What a obvious deterrent it would be when someone who wants to steal a vehicle, they walk by and see this lovely yellow thing in the way,” said Capt. Flippo.
Richmond isn’t alone in dealing with this issue. Henrico County Police say thieves made off with 76 Kia’s and 135 Hyundai’s so far this year.
Thankfully the department says a majority of them have been recovered.
“We are just reminding motorists just to make sure that they’re securing their vehicle at all times and certainly applaud local law enforcement agencies for helping to distribute anti-theft devices to help consumers in this effort,” said Ragina Ali, AAA Public and Government Affairs.
AAA says there are even more popular vehicles to steal. The top five include Chevy and Ford pick-up trucks, Honda Civics and Accords and a Toyota Camry.
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