SBPD believes social media ‘trend’ behind Kia, Hyundai thefts

Police said newer Kia and Hyundai models have been stolen without the use of keys.
Police said newer Kia and Hyundai models have been stolen without the use of keys.(16 News Now)
Published: Aug. 1, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - South Bend Police believes a social media trend that they became aware of in other communities last fall has now reached the city. This comes after roughly a dozen July incidents of car thefts or attempted car thefts of newer Kia and Hyundai models.

“There was really just a string of them very close together within a month timeframe that tipped [investigators] off to, like I said, they already knew about that trend. And then it was starting to fit into those gaps. And they realized, ‘I think this is, this may be [what’s at play],’” said Ashley O’Chap, SBPD media liaison.

To avoid encouraging more of these thefts, O’Chap said the department wasn’t going to offer specifics on how the cars were stolen. However, she offered crooks were able to steal the vehicles without using keys.

To lessen the risk of being a target, SBPD suggests people park in well-lit areas, if possible; lock vehicles at all times; and consider purchasing a steering wheel lock.

“So even if somebody does gain access to your vehicle, they start it, there’s not much they can do if they can’t steer the wheel,” O’Chap explained.

No arrests have been made. Anybody with information on the recent car thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles should call the South Bend Police Department at 574-235-9201.

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