Regulation enforcement officers are asking homeowners of some Hyundai and Kia fashions to take further precautions when parking attributable to an increase in thefts attributed to a latest development on social media referred to as “Kia Boyz.” It is attainable to steal sure vehicles utilizing little greater than a USB charging cable.
As we reported final 12 months, the development started in Milwaukee in 2021 when a bunch of thieves realized it is stunningly straightforward to steal some late-model Hyundai and Kia vehicles that aren’t outfitted with a push-button ignition. The thieves break into the automotive, take away the trim underneath the steering column to entry the ignition, and use pliers or a USB charging twine to begin the engine. Tutorials posted on social media websites corresponding to TikTok made the development a nationwide phenomenon.
The thieves are taking the stolen vehicles on high-speed joyrides, maybe partly as an train in filmmaking — TikTok movies are exhibiting wild swerving and in any other case nutty driving — and several other thieves and bystanders have been injured or killed.
And as we additionally mentioned final 12 months, the thieves are primarily youngsters, with one division saying that half its suspects are 16 and underneath. As for the why, all the things has been blamed — it grew to become an issue through the pandemic lockdown when youngsters have been out of faculty and bored, plus there are the “Grand Theft Auto” video video games catching blame, or the juvenile justice system, or dad and mom. And naturally, TikTok.
Posting on Fb, Ohio’s Hilliard Division of Police wrote that 9 of the 15 stolen vehicles its officers have investigated since Could 2022 have been Hyundai and Kia fashions. Writing on Twitter, Florida’s St. Petersburg police division mentioned that 23 of the 56 vehicles reported stolen since July 11 have been Hyundai and Kia fashions constructed earlier than 2021 and never fitted with a push-button ignition. Different huge cities reported the same uptick.
Whereas exactly what makes Hyundai and Kia fashions extra susceptible to this sort of theft than, say, a Honda, stays unclear, Jalopnik wrote that the affected fashions aren’t outfitted with an immobilizer, a tool which prevents the engine from being began until the proper key’s acknowledged. Kia mentioned that it began putting in an immobilizer in all of its vehicles no matter trim degree through the 2022 mannequin 12 months.
Because the variety of thefts continues to rise, legislation enforcement companies are reminding Hyundai and Kia homeowners to make use of a theft prevention instrument (corresponding to a steering wheel lock), park in a storage or in a well-lit space, lock the doorways, take away valuables from their automotive, and activate the alarm.