COLORADO SPRINGS — Thanks to this TikTok trend News5 learned vehicles in southern Colorado can be stolen in less than 30 seconds. If you have a Kia or Hyundai years 2010 to 2021 and you have a physical ignition key to start your car, you need to pay attention before your ride is gone too.
This social media trend challenges teens to steal a car off the street by breaking into the car, popping off the steering wheel column, and then hot wiring the vehicle using a USB cable. Many of the videos are hash-tagged “kia boys” which has led to more than 33 million views on TikTok.
”July 26th I believe I got up to go to work and I’m looking in my drive and there’s no car,” said Lewis Perry.
Perry reached out to News5 because his Kia was taken this summer as part of this challenge. He did finally get it back, but the thieves destroyed his ride. It now needs serious repairs.
”All over the floor there was garbage and papers and wrappers. The driver’s side, the passenger side, the bumper was laying on the ground. They drove it around for two and a half weeks just smashing it into stuff,” Perry told News5.
What Perry experienced is happening to Kia and Hyundai owners nationwide. Auto experts say unlike most cars built in the past 20 years, these don’t have a computer chip in the key fob, that in most modern vehicles must be present for anyone to start the car.
Colorado Springs Police Department investigators say it’s been an ongoing problem in the Pikes Peak Region as well where the number of these cars being stolen continues to climb.
”We saw an increase in about early June and those numbers steadily increased. Compared to last year’s numbers there’s about a 50% increase in that particular make of car,” said Robert Tornabene of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
The experts say making sure to lock up your vehicle is the first line of defense against becoming the latest car theft victim as a part of this ongoing TikTok trend.
”People like to live their lives on social media unfortunately and I don’t know if our detectives are surprised anymore,” said Tornabene.
Both Kia and Hyundai issued statements about these ongoing car theft issues.
Both companies suggest using a wheel lock system similar to “the club” and some other security improvements are available for purchase.
If you have questions the best option is to call and talk to your local dealership.
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TikTok car theft trend appears in Pikes Peak Region as number of stolen cars increases – KOAA News 5