St. Pete Police warn about troubling car theft trend targeting Kia, Hyundai cars

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla.  — St. Petersburg Police have a information for motorists: lock your car doorways. It comes as law enforcement across the country see a troubling development of car thefts concentrating on specific models.

Considering the fact that July 11, St. Pete Law enforcement say they’ve experienced 56 cars stolen and 23 of them have been Kia and Hyundai designs, noting that is about 41 p.c.

“What the thieves are performing is they are defeating the steering column, and they’re in a position to override the ignition mechanism, allowing them to steal the car considerably a lot more simply and with no a crucial or a important fob,” explained Juan Cortes, a House Crimes Detective with St. Pete Law enforcement.

It is not just a concept observed in St. Pete. Det. Cortes discussed it may possibly be connected to a social media trend happening throughout the region.

“It’s sort of trickled its way down south, and it would seem that it is like wildfire. It’s burning by all the states now,” said Cortes.

Businesses all throughout the US are submitting warnings to social media, from Florida to Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois.

St. Pete Police reported the targeted cars are Kia and Hyundai versions 2021 and older that use an inserted critical rather of a push button ignition.

“You have victims that may possibly be leaving their vehicles unlocked, which presents them an simpler obtain inside the car or truck,” reported Det. Cortes.

Police suggest men and women if you have a person of these cars to not leave your critical in your car and to lock your doors. Police also claimed you can park your car in entrance of a different car or use an anti-theft device to help protect your car.

Hyundai despatched ABC Motion Information this statement:

Hyundai Motor The usa is concerned with the increase in area auto thefts. The protection and well-staying of our buyers and the neighborhood is and will stay our top priority. These vehicles meet up with or exceed Federal Motor Auto Security Requirements and engine immobilizers are typical products on all new Hyundai vehicles. Hyundai clients who have concerns can always make contact with the Hyundai Consumer Help Center at 800-633-5151.

Kia also despatched ABC Action News a assertion:

Kia The united states is mindful of the increase in motor vehicle thefts of a subset of trim ranges in your place. All 2022 styles and trims have an immobilizer used possibly at the starting of the yr or as a operating change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. fulfill or exceed Federal motor Car or truck Safety Requirements.

Kia buyers with thoughts pertaining to their Kia car or truck really should speak to the Customer Support centre immediately at 1-800-333-4542 (Kia).