TikTok challenge sparks rampant car theft — Analysis
Police say that the Hyundai thefts in Chicago have increased by 767%.
In Chicago, a TikTok car theft challenge has become hugely popular in recent weeks. The videos, spreading under the hashtag ‘Kia Boyz’ teach TikTok users to steal older Hyundai and Kia car types using nothing but the tip of a phone charger or USB cable.
The Cook County Sheriff’s Office reports that 642 Hyundai and Kia vehicle thefts occurred between July 1, and Mid-August. This is compared with 74 incidents in the same time last year. This crime wave is for vehicles without immobilizer systems and those that need mechanical keys in order to start.
“Vehicle theft is up an astounding 767% due to an emerging TikTok challenge,” the Chicago Police Department’s 15th District said in an advisory. “This challenge is a play by play [sic]Young adults can learn how to steal Hyundai or Kia automobiles. These automobile thefts are a crime of opportunity and can affect just about any member of the community.”
Officers urged Hyundai owners and Kia drivers to move on. “alert,”When the car isn’t being used, always take out your ignition keys and park it in an area that you are comfortable with. “well-traveled area and well-lit area.”
The social media company condemned this week’s car theft challenge and promised to implement its own measures “guidelines.”
“We absolutely do not condone these types of videos and it is something that is being removed from our platforms. We use a combination of technology and dedicated safety teams to ensure that our content aligns with TikTok Community guidelines,”The company issued a statement to local media.
In other areas of the US, there has also been a significant increase in car thefts from Kia and Hyundai vehicles. This trend seems to be rooted in Milwaukee where vehicle thefts grew by an astonishing 2,500% year-over-year in 2021. Police in the area claim 66% of thefts were related to cars made by both companies.
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