Social media site TikTok is driving a trend in stolen Kia and Hyundai vehicles across the country. Video with over 33 million views showing how to “hot wire” certain 2010 to 2021 Kia and 2016 to 2021 Hyundai models is driving this trend. The vehicles in question have physical keys instead of key fobs with push button ignitions which allow the teens to hotwire the vehicles more easily than those with key fobs. Teen boys using the hashtag “kiaboys” most often are the ones perpetuating these thefts. The teens stealing the vehicles take them for joyrides and often crashing the vehicles and/or causing other physical damage to the stolen vehicles and anything else in the way. Many of these teens are not even old enough to drive. One overly prolific “kiaboys” is only 11 years old.
The challenge video shows how to pop off the steering column and hotwire the car using an usb cable similar to those used to charge a cell phone. According to law enforcement, these cars can be stolen in less than 30 seconds. Thefts of these vehicles in Chicago and Cook Country, Illinois are up over 800%. The City of St. Louis is threatening legal action against Kia and Hyundai if they do not take steps to correct the problems because the streets are less safe and many of these stolen vehicles are being used to commit other crimes.
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