Thieves target Kia and Hyundai models that are easier to steal, MPD says – FOX13 News Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Thefts of two brands of passenger cars are on the rise in Memphis. Kia models newer than 2011 and Hyundai cars newer than 2015 are the main targets.

Experts say these are the easiest cars to steal, but there are ways to deter thieves.

“How could anyone take someone’s property that they work so hard for?” said Tyler Stitt.

Stitt said he came home from work last month and woke up the next day with his Kia Optima gone.

“When I went to the car pound, they have several Kias there. They even brought a Kia there while my wife and I were there that still worked. They had given up,” Stitt said.

He is not alone. Memphis police say there has been a recent increase in thefts at Kia and Hyundai, particularly key starter models.

The thieves disassemble the steering column and neutralize the ignition system by force.

FOX13 found a demo video on YouTube.

“What they do with these Hyundais and Kias is they take off your steering column, put a phone charger in there, and it replaces the chip in the key. And look at that,” the man said. in the video. “It gave me the ACC. And look at this; fire in the hole.”

The trend gained popularity nationwide after videos on social media sites like TikTok showed how easy it is to wire cars.

“The steering column is just torn. They urinated on the back seat. On the driver’s side, both tires are torn because they drove on them until they cracked the wheel,” Alena said. Clark at FOX13.

Clark’s Kia Forte was stolen from his apartment complex in Cordoba.

“We’re looking at right now, not even including bodily harm, five thousand dollars,” Clark said.

And to make matters worse, Clark says the suspects committed other crimes using his car.

“They armed a guy, stole his wallet, then took money out of his bank account. Then I used that money to post bail,” Clark said.

Retired Shelby County Sheriff’s Office Captain Benni Cobb said to buy a steering wheel lock to discourage thieves.

“You get the steering wheel lock, put it on the steering column, and it would keep your column from being broken and taken,” Cobb said.

You can also put a tracking device in your car.

“You can get your GPS tracking system. Of course, this is after the fact. Motion sensor in your vehicle to warn if someone gets into your car,” Cobb said.

If you see anyone committing crimes on TikTok or any social media app, Memphis police ask you to report them to Crime Stoppers at 901-528-CASH.

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