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Local police say social media challenge continues to result in rise in thefts of Kia and Hyundai automobiles



FALL RIVER MA/PROVIDENCE, RI – Local police are warning the public after a TikTok challenge is leading to the theft of certain vehicles.

On Thursday, the Fall River Police Department announced that they have seen an uptick in thefts related to Kia and Hyundai motor vehicles over the past three weeks. The trend is attributed to a recent social media “challenge” video. They recommend that if you own a Kia or Hyundai manufactured between 2015-2021, that you ensure your vehicle is properly secured. Consider equipping your vehicle with a theft deterrent device such as a steering wheel locking device.

About this time last year, the Providence Police Department stated that from July 1st through August 11, Providence PD responded to approximately 14 motor vehicle thefts involving Kia and Hyundai automobiles.

Hyundai, Kia models are at higher risk of theft as thieves can steal an affected car with a USB charging cable.

Providence Police asked owners of some Hyundai and Kia models at the time to take extra precautions when parking due to a rise in thefts attributed to a recent trend on social media called “Kia Boyz.”

It is possible to steal certain cars using little more than a USB charging cable.

It has become very easy for thieves to steal some late-model Hyundai and Kia cars that are not equipped with a push-button ignition. The thieves break into the car, removes the trim under the steering column to access the ignition, and use pliers or a USB charging cord to start the engine. Tutorials posted on social media sites such as TikTok made the trend a national phenomenon.

As the number of thefts continued to rise, Providence Police reminded Hyundai and Kia owners to park in a garage or in a well-lit area, lock the doors, remove valuables from their car, and activate the alarm.

Kia customers with questions regarding their Kia vehicle should contact the Consumer Assistance Center directly at 1-800-333-4542.

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