Tips to prevent KIA and Hyundai vehicle theft amid TikTok trend

BELOIT Wis. (WIFR) – KIA and Hyundai drivers beware! Beloit police blame a viral challenge on TikTok for the recent spike in car thefts across the city.

According to the police, the challenge explains how to steal KIA and Hyundai models step by step using only a USB charging cord.

Tiffany Lindsay and her husband both drive KIAs. They say they are safe to lock their doors after discovering thieves are stealing KIA and Hyundai models.

“I never thought that… My car is a 2016 model, I never thought I would have to worry about it being stolen,” Lindsay says.

It’s all part of a viral trend on TikTok called “KIA Boyz”. Some of the explainer videos show teenagers using USB cables to start stolen cars before they crash or throw them away after their ride. The Beloit Police Department says this trend is fueling a sharp increase in the number of car thefts in the city.

“In the aftermath, it would be better to warn them at the beginning”, explains detective Eric Schoonover.

According to Detective Eric Schoonover, the key to prevention is investing in a lock for your steering wheel. He says KIA and Hyundai models manufactured from 2015 to 2022 have certain vulnerabilities that allow thieves to bypass the ignition.

“Not only is it a visual deterrent to thieves. It wouldn’t physically start the car. So it would deter thieves from taking those vehicles, to begin with,” says Schoonover.

But most importantly, experts say make sure your car is locked.

“It’s your biggest addiction. Other than that, there’s nothing you can do to stop it, says Tammy Putnam, owner of a local key store.

The Beloit Police Department offered vulnerable drivers 100 free steering wheel locks Wednesday night on National Night to prevent these crimes.

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