ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — St. Petersburg Police have a message for motorists: lock your vehicle doors. It will come as law enforcement across the region see a troubling craze of car or truck thefts focusing on precise models.
Due to the fact July 11, St. Pete Law enforcement say they’ve had 56 vehicles stolen and 23 of them have been Kia and Hyundai designs, noting that is about 41 p.c.
“What the robbers are executing is they are defeating the steering column, and they are equipped to override the ignition system, letting them to steal the car or truck a great deal more effortlessly and without having a vital or a vital fob,” explained Juan Cortes, a Home Crimes Detective with St. Pete Police.
It is not just a theme noticed in St. Pete. Det. Cortes explained it may well be related to a social media development occurring throughout the nation.
“It’s type of trickled its way down south, and it looks that it’s like wildfire. It is burning by all the states now,” stated Cortes.
Businesses all throughout the US are posting warnings to social media, from Florida to Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois.
St. Pete Law enforcement mentioned the focused cars and trucks are Kia and Hyundai models 2021 and older that use an inserted essential instead of a force button ignition.
“You have victims that may well be leaving their cars unlocked, which presents them an a lot easier access within the automobile,” said Det. Cortes.
Law enforcement suggest persons if you have 1 of these automobiles to not depart your crucial in your motor vehicle and to lock your doorways. Police also stated you can park your vehicle in front of an additional automobile or use an anti-theft gadget to assist safeguard your vehicle.
KIA & Hyundai Theft Inform!#stpete pd is looking at an unusual pattern.Considering that July 11th, 23 out of 56 stolen autos have been Kia/Hyundais types 2021 and older,that use keys to start.
Any one with a KIA/Hyundai that makes use of a critical, **you should** #lockitup pic.twitter.com/l2ZwVHP7cd
— St. Pete Police (@StPetePD) July 27, 2022
Hyundai sent ABC Action Information this assertion:
Hyundai Motor The us is worried with the rise in area vehicle thefts. The security and nicely-getting of our shoppers and the neighborhood is and will continue to be our leading precedence. These vehicles satisfy or exceed Federal Motor Car or truck Basic safety Standards and engine immobilizers are typical gear on all new Hyundai automobiles. Hyundai shoppers who have questions can often get hold of the Hyundai Client Help Center at 800-633-5151.
Kia also sent ABC Motion News a assertion:
Kia The united states is knowledgeable of the rise in car or truck thefts of a subset of trim concentrations in your space. All 2022 styles and trims have an immobilizer applied either at the beginning of the 12 months or as a managing alter. All Kia automobiles for sale in the U.S. meet or exceed Federal motor Auto Security Benchmarks.
Kia clients with thoughts about their Kia vehicle should make contact with the Buyer Aid middle immediately at 1-800-333-4542 (Kia).