The Kia and Hyundai theft trend is out of control.
Two teens led a school resource officer on a wild chase around the campus of Ridge Road Middle School in the Charlotte, North Carolina area back on May 17. While that chase was brought to an abrupt end when the inexperienced driver hit a fence post surrounding the school’s athletic field, the effects of the incident will be felt by the car’s owner for some time.
Watch a grown man attack some teenagers in a crazy road rage incident here.
In case you haven’t already guessed or recognized the pictured vehicle, it is a Kia and was stolen using a USB charging cord. Kids have learned this incredibly simple method of swiping certain Kias and Hyundais primarily through TikTok, although we’ve found instructional videos on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube in the past.
The victim, who spoke with local news station WSOCTV called the revelation her car could just be stolen “scary.” We think a lot of people just don’t realize how easy it is to steal some modern cars, especially Kias and Hyundais.
It sounds like the victim is now aware of the software update that’s supposed to prevent thefts like this one. The problem with these Kias and Hyundais is they were made without an engine immobilizer, something that’s been standard equipment on virtually every car sold in the US for at least the past two decades.
WSOCTV said the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is struggling with a surge in car thefts this year, which has primarily been fueled by the Hyundai and Kia TikTok challenge videos. A year ago the department recorded 738 car thefts, but as of May 17 it had fielded 1,468 car theft reports. In other words, car theft has essentially doubled.
Other cities have been grappling with similar surges in car thefts, all thanks to Kias and Hyundais lacking one of the most basic security features used in this century. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is telling owners of these cars to get a steering wheel club to keep kids from stealing their vehicle.
Meanwhile, the victim of this crime, who works a full-time job and a part-time job to make ends meet says teens who are stealing cars think they’re just having harmless fun, but instead “your actions can ruin your life.”
Image via WSOCTV