TikTok automotive theft problem: Chicago space sees 767% improve in Hyundai, Kia thefts
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A automotive theft problem going viral on TikTok and different social media apps has led to a 767% improve in Hyundai and Kia automobile thefts within the Chicago space for the reason that starting of July in comparison with final yr, based on authorities.
TikTok customers are posting movies below the hashtag “Kia Boyz,” educating individuals learn how to begin Kia or Hyundai automobiles with out keys, utilizing the tip of a telephone charger or USB cable, prompting juveniles throughout the nation to attempt to steal these automobiles.
“Automobile theft is up an astounding 767% as a result of an rising TikTok problem,” The Chicago Police Division’s fifteenth District mentioned in an Aug. 24 neighborhood advisory. “This problem is a play by play [sic] for younger adults on learn how to steal each Hyundai and Kia automobiles. These vehicle thefts are a criminal offense of alternative and may have an effect on nearly any member of the neighborhood.”
Between July 1 and mid-August, there have been 642 reported Kia and Hyundai automobile thefts in comparison with simply 74 final yr, based on the Cook dinner County Sheriff’s Workplace.
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“That is an especially regarding development and the general public must know to allow them to be vigilant in defending themselves,” Cook dinner County Sheriff Tom Dart mentioned in a press release earlier this month. “The Sheriff’s Workplace will proceed to work carefully with different regulation enforcement companies and interact automakers to cut back harmful automotive thefts and carjackings in Cook dinner County.”
The development is happening in cities throughout the nation.
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Earlier this month, a gaggle of 4 youngsters, ages 14-17, stole a 2021 Kia Forte from a rental lot in St. Paul, Minnesota, and led police on a freeway chase with patrol vehicles and a helicopter in pursuit. The automotive crashed as the motive force tried to keep away from a cease stick that had been arrange within the highway, and the group tried to flee on foot earlier than they have been apprehended.
Police in St. Petersburg, Florida, mentioned that since mid-July, greater than 40% of automotive thefts have concerned Kia or Hyundai automobiles.
Police are encouraging Kia and Hyundai house owners to “be alert” and take precautions — like parking in a busy or well-lit space moderately than a darkish, secluded space — to keep away from automobile theft.
Automobile house owners also needs to flip off and lock their automobiles whereas shopping for groceries or pumping fuel, get insurance coverage for his or her vehicles and set up cameras or alarm methods with motor detection.
The Cook dinner County Sheriff’s Workplace additionally permits automobile house owners to fill out a consent type on-line, enabling regulation enforcement companies to work with automobile producers to trace vehicles.
The problem stems from the shortage of an immobilizer system in a number of the automobiles previous to the 2022 mannequin yr, primarily 2011-2021 Kias and 2015-2021 Hyundais geared up with ignitions requiring mechanical keys.
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A Hyundai spokesman beforehand informed Fox Information Autos the carmaker has expanded a program supporting police departments which can be distributing theft-preventive steering wheel locks and has additionally recognized an aftermarket product that addresses the difficulty.
The Firstech/Compustar safety equipment “targets the tactic of entry thieves are utilizing to entry these automobiles” and disables the starter if the alarm is triggered.