Social media trends accelerate auto thefts

Fort WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — The social media trend has sparked more auto thefts across the country, including Fort Wayne, where police say they have reported car thefts related to the trend.

The Kia Challenge name trend after videos surfaced on TikTok and YouTube, featuring a group called the “Kia Boys”.

In a video, they demonstrate how to easily steal any Kia vehicle from 2011 or newer or any Hyundai from 2015 till now.

This process involves punching the steering column and opening the ignition. Once exposed, a USB cable fits snugly into part of the ignition mechanism, which then allows it to turn on and start the engine.

Fort Wayne Police Department Sergeant Jeremy Webb said he has seen cars over the years and recently reported models stolen in Fort Wayne.

Sergeant Webb said auto thefts have increased 100% nationwide and thefts for Kias and Hyundai have risen 1,000% which falls over those years.

“We want to convey the message that if you have a Kia or you have a Hyundai and it is a later model, be extra careful as we have seen thefts in those model vehicles both locally and nationally. So, just be aware,” said Sergeant Webb.

He said there are many ways to protect your car from theft. If you’re unable to park in the garage, Webb said the best thing you can do is put a wheel lock on your steering wheel.

“If they can’t drive it they won’t be able to steal your vehicle,” Sergeant Webb said.

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Other ways to protect your car include parking in well-lit areas, locking your doors near security cameras if you have one, avoiding leaving valuables in the car, having a good alarm system, and Even go so far as to disconnect your batter. you would like

This latest trend shows that social media can certainly cause issues, even though it can be very beneficial at times – including helping police trace suspects.

“In the ’80s and early ’90s, it was word of mouth, but now criminals can educate themselves on the best ways to be better criminals and then post it, you know, and all is getting information on how to steal your Kia or your Hyundai,” said Sergeant Webb.

He hopes that vehicle makers will soon be able to fix the issue in future models.