The new trend relies on the USB chargers typically left in vehicles.
Kia and Hyundai drivers, beware!
A new social media challenge called “Kia Boyz” shows how USB charging cords can start up cars that don’t have push-start buttons. Videos posted by accounts on social media platforms show people breaking off the under dash panels of car wheels and then use USB cords to start the cars and take off.
In a video posted on Youtube, a man who claimed to have used the method advised, “if you have a Hyundai or a Kia, you’re never supposed to leave a plug-in piece like this.”
The spread of “Kia Boyz” tutorial videos has caused an increase in motor vehicle theft in some parts of the country. Authorities say this is particularly true for Kias and Hyundais. In parts of the Midwest, where the trend reportedly began, thefts have grown in excess.
According to a Facebook post from the Hilliard Division of Police in Ohio, the department has investigated 15 stolen vehicles since May. Nine of the cars in question were either Kias or Hyundais.
WCMH, the Columbus, Ohio, local NBC affiliate, reported the issue is especially prevalent in that area.
“For these kids, it’s a game and it’s a status symbol to see how many they can steal in a day, and then they’re using these cars to commit a series of other crimes,” Commander Duane Mabry with the Columbus Division of Police told WCMH in April. “What they’re doing is peeling the column and using a USB — or whatever they can find nearby — to turn the ignition and then steal the car.”
A statement issued to NBC News by a Kia spokesperson on Monday said that the company is aware of the rise in vehicle thefts.
“All 2022 models and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the year or as a running change. All Kia vehicles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards,” the statement reads.
The manufacturer encouraged Kia customers to contact the Consumer Assistance Center at 1-800-333-4542 with questions regarding their Kia vehicle.
A statement issued to NBC News by a spokesperson for TikTok stated that the social media platform “does not condone this behavior which categorically violates our policies and will be removed if found on our platform.”
In the Hilliard Division of Police’s Facebook post, the department encouraged drivers to use theft prevention tools like a steering wheel lock, parking in a garage whenever possible, keeping doors locked at all times, removing valuables from vehicles, and activating alarm systems.
Olivia Newton-John, who soared to international stardom as both a singer and movie star has died. Olivia’s husband, John Easterling, says she died peacefully at her ranch in Southern California Monday morning, surrounded by family and friends. Olivia has battled breast cancer for more than 30 years, a specific cause of death was not given, although … Continue reading SAD NEWS!! OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHNDEAD AT 73
(CNN.com) (CNN)US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi landed in Taipei on Tuesday, marking a significant show of support for Taiwan despite China’s threats of retaliation over the visit. Pelosi’s stop in Taipei is the first time that a US House speaker has visited Taiwan in 25 years. Her trip comes at a low point in US-China relations and … Continue reading US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi lands in Taiwan amid threats of Chinese retaliation
(CNN.com) Update: The frightening moment concluded an incident where 37-year-old Portia Odufuwa allegedly fired her weapon several times toward the ceiling at about 11 a.m. after emerging from a women’s restroom, Dallas police chief Eddie Garcia said during a press conference. Authorities said an officer quickly responded and fired their weapon, hitting Odufuwa in the lower … Continue reading Police shoot woman who had fired shots into ceiling at Dallas Love Field Airport, authorities say