New TikTok challenge targets Kia, Hyundai car owners

Police said that in many cases, criminals are using USB wires to jump-start vehicles.

ByNydia Han and Heather Grubola via WPVI logo
Thursday, August 4, 2022 11:31PM
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Local police are blaming a TikTok trend for a rise in thefts of Kia and Hyundai vehicles.

LOWER MORELAND TOWNSHIP, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- A warning for Kia and Hyundai car owners: A new TikTok challenge is making you especially vulnerable to car thieves.

The social media videos are being put out by people all over the country, challenging teens and young adults to break into Kias and Hyundais and steal them.

The Lower Moreland Township Police Department said not only are they encouraging theft, they are also encouraging the perpetrators to go on dangerous, reckless joy rides and vandalize the vehicles.

"Anytime that you're leaving your vehicle, even if it's just for a couple of seconds, we want to make sure that you're locking your cars, keeping any valuables out of sight," said detective Justin Brommer.

Police also said that in many cases, criminals are using USB wires to jump-start vehicles, so if you have a USB wire or a charger in your car, hide it or take it with you.

Also, remember never to leave an unattended vehicle running. Park it in a safe, lighted area and check your surroundings. Police also said you might consider getting a steering wheel lock.

And if you see the videos on TikTok, make sure you report them to slow the spread of this kind of challenge from circulating.

In a statement, Kia said they are aware of the rise in vehicle thefts in our area but that new models and trims have an immobilizer applied. It also said all Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed federal motor vehicle safety standards.