Social media trend encourages people to steal Kia, Hyundai cars using USB cables

Lyle Ellerbee

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Law enforcement are warning about a social media development that shows how criminals can use a USB cable — alternatively of a important — to start Kias and Hyundais.

Primarily, individuals are breaking into these vehicles, having aside the ignition, and commencing the vehicle with a telephone charger (USB cord).

It is producing the well known automobiles a key concentrate on for car burglars. The cases are increasing across the U.S. and Florida.

According to the St. Petersburg Police Department, 23 of the 56 vehicles stolen considering that July 11 (40%) were Kia or Hyundai styles, WFLA noted.

Police body digital camera footage confirmed a takedown at gunpoint Tuesday, as Volusia County deputies arrested three teenagers driving a stolen Kia Soul.

“Keep your hands where I can see them — now stroll again to the sound of my voice,” a deputy yelled as 3 people today inside of the SUV, parked at a gas station, exited the automobile.


3 teenagers suspected of stealing two Kia automobiles in a matter of hours were arrested on Tuesday, according to the Volusia County Sheriff’s Workplace, and deputies imagine they had been taking section in a social media development.

Two 14-year-olds and a 17-yr-previous are now in large hassle — billed with grand theft vehicle just after deputies claimed they stole the SUV based mostly on a social media craze.

“They just ripped it aside and they commenced it suitable away,” Edwin Rodriguez, the operator of the SUV, told Information4JAX sister station WKMG.

Rodriguez claimed the juveniles broke his window as the SUV was parked at his Deland condominium. They boosted his vehicle in seconds.

“It will get you quite upset, quite mad, especially for lower-profits individuals,” he instructed WKMG.

That similar day, deputies recovered yet another stolen Kia Soul. It seems intruders did the same matter. Deputies noted there was a third endeavor close by.

“Stealing the SUVs is easy as 1-2-3,” in accordance to move-by-phase instructions on YouTube and TikTok.


Burglars tear out the steering column and use a simple USB cable to begin the ignition. This impacts Kia products from 2011 to 2021 and Hyundai designs from 2015 to 2021. Both equally providers say 2022 vehicles have been modified to avoid this.

The proprietors we spoke to had no plan this could happen.

“They’re coming up with new (expletive) every working day,” Matty, who drives a Kia, instructed Information4JAX.

Jacksonville auto theft detectives reported they are effectively aware of the trend. Christian Hancock, an officer with the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office environment, explained at minimum two persons have been arrested in Jacksonville for these distinct instances.

“It mimics what you see on social media,” Hancock reported. “The suspects used this methodology that they’re showing on social media.”

Officers are now warning all drivers to lock their doorways, park in a perfectly-lit house near cameras, hold valuables out of the auto and take into account a steering wheel lock.


“You can do points to make oneself a non-victim, or at the very least assist that,” Hancock added. “Do every little thing you can do, and the lousy guy will shift on to the future 1.”

KIA and Hyundai spokespeople said any person with questions about their car’s security can phone consumer aid.

“Kia The united states is aware of the increase in vehicle thefts of a subset of trim stage motor vehicles in your spot. As of the present-day 2022 Product Yr, all Kia vehicles have an motor immobilizer equipped as standard. All Kia cars for sale in the U.S. satisfy or exceed Federal Motor Car Protection Requirements,” the organization stated in a statement. “Kia consumers with questions regarding their Kia auto need to make contact with the Client Aid Centre straight at 1-800-333-4542 (4Kia).”

“Hyundai Motor The usa is concerned with the increase in local car thefts,” the firm wrote. “The basic safety and effectively-staying of our prospects and the local community is and will continue being our leading priority. These cars fulfill or exceed Federal Motor Car Basic safety Criteria and motor immobilizers are regular machines on all new Hyundai automobiles. Hyundai clients who have queries can constantly get in touch with the Hyundai Client Aid Centre at 800-633-5151.”


The makers of TikTok and YouTube are inquiring any individual who sees the films about thieving cars to report them right away.

Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4JAX – All legal rights reserved.

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