Police Say Kids Are Stealing Cars As Part Of New TikTok Challenge

Police departments across the country have seen a rise in car thefts committed by kids and are blaming TikTok. According to a report from Insider, videos have been surfacing on social media that show prospective car thieves an easy way to steal certain Kia and Hyundai vehicles using a USB cord.

The trend is believed to have started in Wisconsin, where officials in Milwaukee have seen a 2500% increase in car thefts, with Kias and Hyundai vehicles making up two-thirds of the stolen cars.

In Omaha, Nebraska, there have been 230 reports of Kias or Hyundais being stolen this year. Last year, just 131 Kias and Hyundais were reported stolen. Omaha Police Lt. Kyle Steffen told KVET that many of the thefts are being committed by kids, and they are documenting their crimes in videos on TikTok.

“They’re stealing that vehicle,” Steffen said. “They’re joyriding a little bit, they’re getting a video, and then they’re abandoning it.”

“They’re trying to up their views or clicks, whatever it may be,” he added.

Officials in Texas and Florida have also noticed an uptick in car thefts targeting specific vehicles that be easily started once the steering column is damaged.

“Kia America is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts of certain trim level vehicles. As of the current 2022 Model Year, all Kia vehicles have an engine immobilizer fitted as standard,” Kia said in a statement to USA Today.

“Hyundai Motor America is concerned with the rise in local auto thefts. The safety and well-being of our customers and the community is and will remain our top priority,” Hyundai told the outlet in a statement.

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