RICHMOND, Va. – Chekirah Hill calls her Kia her “child” as a result of she labored so exhausting to purchase it herself. It virtually obtained taken from her this week, a part of a nationwide pattern of stolen Kia’s and Hyundai’s that began on social media and has now reached central Virginia.
A design flaw makes it very simple to start out a Kia and Hyundai with out a key if a thief is aware of what to do. A widespread video on Tik Tok led to a nationwide pattern that the autos have been stolen.
Now native police are urging Kia/Hyundai house owners to get the suitable safety software program replace from a supplier, or at the very least buy a steering wheel lock as a bodily and visible deterrent.
Hill’s Kia was virtually stolen from outdoors her Manchester house on Wednesday night time.
“That was my first massive woman buy. I’m 24 years outdated, so this was my very first automobile that I purchased alone,” Hill stated. “They couldn’t get wherever, however they nonetheless managed to interrupt the window. Additionally they took a paint scraper and pried off the underside of the steering wheel column to attempt to electrify it. They usually really tried to overheat it.” -Wire it with that kind of cable.”
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Kia and Hyundai supply options to cease theft in TikTok challenges
6:00 am 03 Oct 2022
“The largest feeling I’ve is simply frustration and unhappiness as a result of I labored very, very exhausting to purchase my automobile for a couple of 12 months and a half. So if somebody feels they will simply take it for enjoyable, that sucks and reveals that many individuals don’t have the caring and compassion for others that you simply assume they need to,” she stated .
110 Kia and Hyundai autos have been stolen in Richmond to date this 12 months, in comparison with 25 in the identical interval final 12 months. In line with the RPD, 55 copies have been reported stolen in Could alone.
Different locations see it too. In Colonial Heights, a metropolis simply eight sq. miles in space, 9 Kia and Hyundai autos have been stolen previously two months. That’s double the overall variety of automobile thefts they sometimes undergo, officers stated.
Captain Anthony Jackson with the Richmond Police Division
“Typically they drive till they run out of gasoline or have an accident after which simply hold driving,” Richmond Police Division Capt. Anthony Jackson stated. “We don’t get better each stolen automobile, and those we get better are broken. They’re badly broken. At the least there might be a damaged window and a merely destroyed steering column.”
Sergeant. Desiree McCurry of the Colonial Heights Police Division stated whereas the variety of Kia and Hyundai thefts elevated, her cousin’s automobile was additionally stolen in New Jersey.
“It occurred the day I came visiting New Jersey,” Sgt. McCurry stated. “They really lower out the window on the driving force’s aspect of their automobile and have been capable of begin their automobile from the within utilizing a USB port.”
Reporter Jake Burns and Sgt. Desiree McCurry with the Colonial Heights Police Division
“When folks began noticing this enhance, everybody instantly thought, let me name the supplier and discover out what’s happening. Is there something I can do to forestall myself from falling sufferer to the identical crime?” stated Sgt McCurry.
Based mostly on video proof and arrests, police imagine the standard suspect is a teen or teenager. Captain Jackson stated the thieves have been focusing on 2011-2021 Kia and Hyundai fashions which have an ignition key.
In line with authorities, the easiest way to guard your automobile is to get the safety replace and use a steering wheel lock. Hill really had one on her automobile. Although it didn’t relieve her emotional and psychological misery, her Kia didn’t budge.
“I keep in mind watching the unique video on TikTok,” Hill stated. “I’d moderately you have been in my predicament, with solely a busted window and a damaged steering wheel column, than you simply not sustaining a automobile damage or your automobile being in an accident.”
The Nationwide Freeway Transportation Security Administration has extra particulars on the security updates for Kia and Hyundai.
It is a creating story, so anybody with extra info can e mail [email protected] to submit a tip.
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